STEVE Tilson is fully aware of the size of the task facing the next Southend United manager.

The Shrimpers won just four of their 35 League games last season and will be back in the basement League next term.

But Tilson is still keen to be part of the management team bidding to turn things around.

“It’s a tough job,” said the 53-year-old.

“There are a lot of youngsters that came into the side when people left and they did well.

“They’ve gone in a for a few games but it’s different when you’re going into a whole season.

“The first handful of games you’re running on adrenaline and the crowd are behind you.

“But as the season goes by it gets more difficult because they won’t be used to that level week in week out at this stage.”

And Blues will also be looking to get back on track after two seasons of real struggle which has seen them win just 18 of their last 81 League games.

“The club has got a losing mentality over the last two or three years and that’s not easy to get out of,” said Tilson.

“Anyone who thinks that going into a lower division means you have a right to be up there next year will be wrong.

“League Two is a tough league to get out of.”

Blues were second from bottom in the League One standings, 16 points from safety when the season was curtailed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But Tilson feels chairman Ron Martin could not be criticised for a lack of investment in the team.

“Fair play to the chairman because over the last few years he’s really backed whoever has been in charge and they’ve had a fantastic budget,” said Tilson.

“Players have been on great wages and the budget doesn’t reflect where they’ve ended up.

“If you look at the budget they should have been in and around the play-offs every year if not pushing for automatic promotion.

“For whatever reason it’s not happened and it could be recruitment or man management, I don’t know.

“But there’s something that isn’t right because with that budget you should be much higher up.”

Despite the poor form, Blues have continued to be backed in good numbers.

And Tilson has again been impressed by the Roots Hall faithful.

“There’s still a great fanbase,” said Tilson.

“With everything that went on last year, there were still 5,000 or 6,000 fans in the stadium which was great.

“The fanbase is definitely there but I just feel everything needs to be put back together.”

Since leaving Blues in 2010, Tilson spent time in charge of both Lincoln City and Canvey Island.

And he now heads up the football academy at South Essex College.

“I’m really enjoying myself at the college,” said Tilson.

“In three years we’ve gone from 30 boys to 100 and two teams to five. We’re making something big and it’s going really well. Our first team play in a top, top league and it’s a really good standard. I love it there but I do feel like I have business to finish off with Southend.”