SOUTHEND United manager Chris Powell has denied Josh Wright’s claims he was kept in the dark about his Shrimpers future.

Wright was one of four Blues players to be released from Roots Hall last week and, upon his departure, told Echosport he had previously been informed he had triggered an additional year in his contract.

The midfielder also claimed he had not been told the true situation.

But Powell insists he had been honest with the 28-year-old before deciding not to offer him a new deal.

“I thought Josh’s clause had kicked in for him to get the extra year but when I found out that wasn’t the case I told him straight away,” said Powell.

“I asked him if he knew what was in the contract and he said no so it was me who actually told him.

“I’m not sure how more honest and up front I could’ve been because I told him exactly how it was and what was happening.”

Wright joined the Shrimpers in late August following his departure from Gillingham and made 26 appearances for the club.

However, a hamstring injury disrupted Wright’s progress and meant he made just two starts after Powell’s arrival in January.

“Towards the end of the season, Josh told me he wasn’t right when he came back from the injury and that he wasn’t available to play,” said Powell.

“They were his words not mine so he couldn’t play and that’s the only reason why he wasn’t involved.

“I’m sure he would’ve wanted more minutes at times but we also had the emergence of an 18-year-old [Dru Yearwood] in the midfield area so competition was fierce.”

However, Powell was also keen to wish Wright all the best for the future.

“It’s never nice having to make these decisions but that’s part of being a manager,” said Powell.

“I hope Josh goes on to do well wherever he goes next.”