SOUTHEND United’s under-23s started their pre-season campaign with an impressive 2-1 victory against Fulham.

Goals from Norman Wabo and Eren Kinali secured the Shrimpers a hard fought win against the Premier League side at Boots & Laces.

And Blues coach Kevin Maher felt the triumph showed the hard work his team have already been putting in.

“It was very impressive,” said Maher.

“I think it shows the work we have put in too.

“We’ve had a really hard week of training and then to come and play in such hot and tough conditions is a testament to the players.

“I’m really pleased with how they went about their business too. Fulham are a very good side but we’ve set our standard for the rest of pre-season now.”

Fulham included former Blues loanee Cauley Woodrow in their team but were unable to beat a strong looking Shrimpers side who worked hard in the sunshine.

The free-scoring Wabo converted a pass from Joe Bedford five minutes before the break before Kinali steered home a Harry Phillips corner at the start of the second period.

Blues will travel to Aveley on Thursday for their next pre-season friendly before heading to the Netherlands for a week’s training, something Maher believes will be hugely beneficial.

“We’ve got five or six days in Holland and we’re going to do a lot of tough work out there,” said Maher.

“We’ll be doing some double sessions and we’ve got a game out there as well.

“It’s a good change of scenery and we can get some more detail into them about how we want to play compared to this week, which has been more fitness-based.”