SOUTHEND United manager Kevin Bond believes Liam Ridgewell will soon be pushing for a place in the Shrimpers side.

The experienced former Birmingham City defender joined Blues last week.

And, despite not having much of a pre-season, Bond feels Ridgewell will not take long to get up to speed.

"I know Liam and he’s a very lean and fit boy," said Bond.

"He’s not prone to getting out of condition so I don’t think he will need a lot of conditioning.

"He will certainly need a little but we saw he on Friday for the first time.

"We will let Stef our fitness coach get a grip of him and see where he is.

"I’m sure it won’t be long until he’s included in the group and he will give us some much needed competition."

Ridgewell travelled with the Shrimpers for Saturday's League One opener against Coventry City but was not named in the squad.