SOUTHEND United striker Simon Cox insists Sol Campbell’s arrival has increased the Shrimpers’ belief they can stay up this season.

Blues – who head to Portsmouth tonight – sit eight points from safety after enduring a disastrous start to the season.

But Cox feels Campbell has convinced the squad they have what it takes to work their way out of trouble.

“There’s definitely a lot more belief now and that’s coming from the manager,” said Cox.

“He feels we’re good enough to get out of this position and belief is a word which is really being bandied around the place a lot right now.

“Maybe we had lost a little belief but we have to believe we can do it.

“We have to have that belief and that comes from winning games, scoring goals and keeping clean sheets.”

The Shrimpers have triumphed just once in 16 games so far this season. But Cox is keen for things to quickly turn around.

“We’re eight points from safety at the moment and if we have a three game week we can quickly get out of it but it has to happen soon,” said Cox.

“I know that’s being optimistic because we won’t have won three games in a row for a while but we have to start picking up points.

“The manager isn’t shying away from this situation but we have to start winning games because we can’t afford to get to the stage where we’re cut adrift and facing must win matches.

“We need that to happen soon and we all feel as though the performances have improved since the manager has come in.”

Cox has enjoyed working with Campbell, who has been in charge for the past two matches.

And the former Arsenal defender is working hard to get things back on track.

“The manager has made subtle changes but when we’ve been without a midweek game there has definitely been more intensity to the training which can only be a good thing,” said Cox.

“We’ve been training longer at times too. On average I would say that up and down the country teams would train for 70 to 90 minutes but we’ve been out there for two hours at times.

“But if that’s what it takes for us to improve then so be it.”

And Cox is hoping for that hard work to be rewarded against Portsmouth tonight.

“It’s another tough game but we want to go there and take something from it,” said Cox, who scored a hat-trick in his last game against Portsmouth, “We want to keep on improving.”