CHRISTIAN Walton cannot wait to start for Southend United against Bolton Wanderers tonight - now he knows the names of his new team-mates!

The highly-rated goalkeeper, who is on loan from Brighton & Hove Albion, met the Blues squad for the first time just hours before making his debut in Saturday’s 3-0 win against Oldham Athletic.

But the 21-year-old now feels firmly settled in his new surroundings.

“The build up to Saturday was quite weird and I only met the boys at 11.30am on the morning of the match but the lads made it easy for me to come in,” said Walton.

“I just had to make sure I was confident and assured in everything I did and it was great to start with a clean sheet and three points.

"I’ve been here a couple of days now and it’s been good.

"I know everyone a bit better and I’m looking forward to the Bolton game.”

Walton will be with Blues for an initial seven days following an injury to Ted Smith.

And the England under-21 international, who started the season on loan at Luton Town, jumped at the chance to team up with the Shrimpers in order to get another taste of first team football.

“Brighton called me back from my loan spell at Luton when their number two goalkeeper got injured in late January but it was difficult for me,” said Walton.

“I was enjoying a run of games at the time and Luton were doing well too but when I went back I was on the bench and didn’t get any minutes on the pitch.

"I’ve just been training and playing in the odd under-23 game so I jumped at the chance to come to Southend, it was a real no-brainer for me.”

And Walton also made the move after his close friend and former Blues loanee Glen Rea spoke fondly of his own loan spell at Roots Hall last season.

“I lived with Glen at Brighton and Luton, we’re best mates and I was on the phone to him straight away,” said Walton.

“He was really complimentary about the club and the manager.

"I was also a season ticket holder at Plymouth Argyle as a kid so it’s also good to be working with Graham Coughlan because he was one of the players I used to really enjoy watching.”