SOUTHEND United manager Kevin Bond is backing new boy Nathan Ralph to be a big hit with Blues.

Ralph has joined the Shrimpers on a two year deal after leaving Scottish Premier league side Dundee.

And Bond believes the 26-year-old will be determined to impress at Roots Hall.

“Nathan struck me as someone who is very serious about his football,” said Bond.

“He’s certainly a determined young man and he wants to push on and improve his game.

“I had a lot of recommendations from people I know in the game regarding his ability and attitude and I hope he can bring some good attacking flair to our team from the flank.”

Ralph, who has previously played for Yeovil Town, was player of the year with Dundee last season.

And Bond is certain the new signing will impress at both ends of the pitch.

“He’s got the ability to push forward but from a defensive point of view, he’s a tenacious player and he’s good in the air,” said Bond.

“In today’s game as a full back you’ve got to get forward but also do your job defensively.

“I also like the fact he wants to improve his game.

“He’s willing to learn and I’m happy to give him the chance to do so here at Southend United.”

Ralph is expected to line up for Blues at Weymouth on Friday and Bond knows the full-back is hungry to do well.

““He dropped down into non-league a few years back and last year he won player of the season for Dundee in the Scottish Premiership,” said Bond.

“Players like Nathan are determined. They want it and they’re the type of players I want at this football club.”