SOUTHEND United manager Phil Brown is set to recall Nile Ranger to his matchday squad on Saturday - providing the striker turns up on time tomorrow.

Ranger did not travel to MK Dons on Tuesday night due to his poor time-keeping.

But Brown is now ready to give the controversial forward another opportunity to impress against the U’s.

“Nile’s in the squad,” confirmed Brown.

“He’s trained like a man possessed and he will be in the squad if he turns up on time tomorrow morning for training.

“There’s nothing untoward about what’s happened though and why he was left out.

“People seem to think some kind of crime has gone on but it hasn’t at all.”

And Brown is hopeful Ranger’s time-keeping will begin to improve after he opted to move out of London to be closer to Blues’ base.

“Nile’s moved into the Southend area and he lives two miles from the training ground now,” said Brown.

“I’ve said I think we should get a static home or a caravan for him on the training ground because he couldn’t be late then.

“That’s an extremity but Nile has taken charge of the situation by moving into the area.

“He’s moved out of Tottenham and I think most people would be late travelling from there to Southend once or twice a week due to the unpredictability of the M25 and the A127.

“We can’t change the fact we’re on the A127 but he’s much closer now and he has to manage his life and time-keeping better.”

But Brown also wants Ranger to improve in other areas.

“The moment Nile buys into our regime, which is a 9am arrival at the training ground and 10.30am start on the training pitch, then the easier it will be for him to play football and do well,” said Brown.

“He knows what he needs to do and where he needs to make improvements.”

Ranger - who has been dogged by controversy throughout his career - has also struggled to hit top form on the pitch for Blues this season.

The 26-year-old has scored just once in 14 appearances and that solitary strike came from the penalty spot in a 4-2 victory at Fleetwood Town in September.

Ranger missed a penalty in his last appearance, at Portsmouth on Saturday, and has now started just two of the Shrimpers’ last seven matches.

The striker has yet to score at Roots Hall so far this term.