KEVIN Bond is keen to remain in charge of Southend United beyond the end of this season but is refusing to look beyond tomorrow’s clash at Fleetwood Town.

Bond will boss Blues for the first time when they head to the Highbury Stadium tomorrow.

But the 61-year-old is keen for the clash to be the start of something long-term at the Shrimpers.

“I would love to stay but honestly I can’t look beyond Fleetwood right now,” said Bond.

“We have to deal with the current situation and everything else will take care of itself one way or another.

“All I can do at the moment is come in and help the lads to set up the best we can to get the results we need to stay in the League.”

That quest will start at Fleetwood on Saturday in a game which will see Bond up against a familiar face in the dugout.

Bond was assistant manager to Harry Redknapp during Joey Barton’s days as a player at Queens Park Rangers.

And Bond is looking forward to coming up against the former midfielder.

“I know Joey well,” said Bond.

“It’s his first season as manager and I know the type of character he is so he will be totally committed.

“He will have his side on the front foot and they’ve had some decent results so they will be looking forward to it.

“But really it’s about what we do and we can’t get too bogged down with what anyone else does.

“We will be very respectful and mindful of what they have to offer but we need to step up ourselves.

“It’s about what we do.”

The Shrimpers head into the game without a win in their last 12 outings and Bond knows it could take time to turn things around as his players look to rediscover their confidence.

“It’s been a difficult time from a results point of view and of course that effects confidence, which I think is the biggest factor we need to build,” said Bond.

“That only comes with a result and a clean sheet so that’s what we need.

“We need to give ourselves something to build on if we can but it’s a process and we won’t be great overnight.

“It will be gradual but you can tell they’re all good lads and very together. It’s just human nature that a run of poor results effects confident.

“We’re clearly a lot better than where we are in the table. We have been hit by injuries but we can’t do anything about that.”

Blues make the trip to Fleetwood sitting 20th in the standings, above the relegation zone on goal difference.