SOUTHEND United manager Kevin Bond has thanked a trio of released players for their efforts with the Shrimpers.

Bond opted against handing Michael Turner, Stephen Hendrie new deals while Ben Coker also opted to depart.

But the Blues boss was still keen to praise those moving on.

“I would like to praise all of our players for their efforts in helping to keep the club in League One,” said Bond.

“To a man their application during those last six matches was first class.

“But now the dust has settled we are facing what is always a challenging time of the year with a potential turnaround of players, largely due to contracts expiring.

“Some difficult decisions need to be made which is never easy. There are a few senior players whose contracts have now expired and will be leaving the club but we wish them well.”

Centre-back Turner left Roots Hall after two seasons with the Shrimpers.

But Bond enjoyed working with the 35-year-old who lined up 65 times for the Shrimpers.

“Michael Turner has been a terrific servant to Southend United, as he has been to all his clubs throughout his long and distinguished career,” said Bond.

“He’s a great role model who conducted himself with great professionalism during my time with him.

“He was key in a number of games during that run in and I would like to thank him and wish him well for the future.”

Left-back Hendrie has also left the Shrimpers after making 41 appearances since signing in the summer of 2017.

But Bond believes the 24-year-old will benefit from leaving Blues.

“Stephen was unfortunately injured when I arrived and only regained his fitness for the last couple of games,” said Bond.

“Although not directly involved Stephen was a very positive influence around the club, being amazingly supportive of the boys who were starting.

“That support and togetherness was vital to us in the run in but Stephen needs to be at a club where he plays week in week out, and I wish him well wherever that may be.”

However, Hendrie is not the only left-back leaving as Coker has also decided to move on, with Lincoln City expected to sign him.

“Ben has decided he doesn’t want to stay at Roots Hall and will seek pastures new,” said Bond.

“We wish him the very best of luck.”