SOUTHEND United’s Nile Ranger insists he is getting back to his best ahead of tonight’s Checkatrade Trophy clash at Peterborough United.

The Shrimpers striker - who has been out of Phil Brown’s starting line-up for seven of the last nine games - is expected to be recalled for the second round tie at London Road.

And Ranger is determined to make the most of the opportunity and get back among the goals.

“I’ve got the fire in my belly but I know I need to start getting goals and getting assists to help the boys,” said the 26-year-old, who has netted once in 15 appearances this term.

“I feel as though I’ve been doing alright but there’s more to come and I want to start showing it.

“People need to remember I haven’t had a proper pre-season in four years and this year I was in prison.

“I was sitting in a cell for 23 hours a day while others were doing their fitness work so I’ve been playing catch up.

“I’m not quite there just yet but once I get one goal my confidence will improve and I think I’ll start to get a few more just like last season.

“I haven’t actually been getting that many chances but hopefully I will tonight and I can put them away to help us get a good result.”

In a further bid to improve, Ranger has also moved to Southend from north London.

And the striker - who was dropped from the squad for the recent 1-1 draw at MK Dons due to his poor time-keeping - believes the switch will be hugely beneficial.

“The journey from London was killing me so it’s much better being so much closer,” said Ranger.

“It’s definitely helped but I’m still trying to be better with my time-keeping, which I know I need to do.”

But Ranger also wants to do better on the pitch, starting with tonight’s clash with Posh.

“It’s a chance to impress so it’s a big game for us all,” said the striker.

“The manager has often said how he wants to take the team back to Wembley and he’s picked a strong team for this game.

“I’ll certainly be giving it everything I’ve got and hopefully I’ll play the full 90 minutes and do well.”