TOM Hopper is determined to make up for lost time at Southend United - starting with tomorrow’s clash against Oxford United at Roots Hall.

Hopper spent close to a year on the sidelines with a cruciate ligament injury before returning to action in October.

And the forward is eager to fire Blues up the League One table.

“You do feel like you’re making up for lost time when you’re back after a long-term injury and that’s definitely the case with me,” said Hopper.

“I was doing really well before the injury so I want to get back to that level and even better to show I can still do it.

“I have to say I’ve surprised even myself with how good I’ve been feeling since coming back but that’s testament to all of the work the medical team have put in with me during the rehab.”

Hopper, who scored seven goals in 14 appearances before being forced onto the sidelines last season, netted in his first start back against Tranmere Rovers last month.

And the 25-year-old was pleased to add to his tally after also netting against AFC Wimbledon in the Trophy last time out.

“It’s nice to score, whatever the competition, but the main thing was the performance because we played well and got the win,” said Hopper.

“I think most of us wanted another game straight away after that but the break has been good, especially for me because it’s allowed me to do even more rehab work after quite a few games.”

The Shrimpers have gone eight days without a game.

But Hopper is keen to make that count as the second from bottom Blues look to bag just their second League win of the season.

“Oxford are doing well but we’ve worked hard in training this week and want to take that into the game now and get a win,” said Hopper.