Echo: SIMON Cox is working tirelessly in a bid to top Southend United’s scoring charts for the third season in succession.

Freddy Eastwood and David Crown are the only Shrimpers stars in the past 30 years to have been top scorer three times in a row.

But Cox is determined to follow in foot-steps and even hired a personal trainer while on holiday in Dubai this summer.

“When I was out in Dubai I got introduced to a fitness coach and it was something a bit different which I definitely found beneficial,” said Cox.

“Normally I would do the work on my own at that time of year but I had nine sessions with the coach and it was definitely worth the money.

“It was tough because it’s 38 degrees there at 8am in the morning so you have to work hard.

“I feel fitter than I did this time last year but you can always be fitter and that’s what I’m working on now because I want to be top scorer for a third season in a row.”

Cox bagged 16 goals during his first season with the Shrimpers before netting 10 times last term.

But the 31-year-old is keen to be more prolific this season.

“I was disappointed not to have got more goals last season and I want more this year for sure,” said Cox.

“I was still top goalscorer but I want to be getting more goals this season.”

Cox could become just the seventh Shrimpers player to be top scorer three seasons in a row.

And he is now putting in even more hard work in Spain with the rest of his team-mates.

“It’s hot here as well and the sessions are getting longer,” said Cox.

“I’m sure everyone is aching but it’s really good coming away and the facilities are great.

“The training pitches are lovely but it’s obviously it’s tough because it always this time of the year.

“But we know every other team in our League will be doing the same so we have to work as hard as we can to get the results we want.”

Blues will also step up their preparations when they face Aberdeen’s Development team in a pre-season friendly clash tomorrow.

And Cox - who netted in the 5-0 win at Great Wakering Rovers on Saturday - will again be looking to get among the goals.

“You want to get into the scoring habit,” said Cox.

“Pre-season is about fitness and learning to play alongside the new players so you can build up partnerships.

"But it’s always nice to score and hopefully I will against Aberdeen.”