AN update from Southend United chairman Ron Martin.

“Excellent progress continues to be made with the Council on the stadium plans and therefore the club and its supporters can be very confident about the future.

"With that bright outlook people might think choosing a manager at this time would be a pleasure.

"As has been reported the club has had a great number of applicants, some have already managed, many coaches who wish to make the step up.

"There have been a few applications from abroad too.

"Of one thing you can be certain is that in every case the agents, at least, will tell me their client is the best thing since sliced bread and will get us promoted at the first attempt.

"To be honest I have had to listen to so much rubbish, whilst I work out the wheat from the chaff.

"That said I have spoken to many very genuine applicants, some by zoom although my preference would always be to conduct interviews face to face, which I have done in some instances.

"The most important ingredient is not necessarily past success in management, although that would be a benefit, rather the desire to totally commit to the job.

"Football Management, if a person truly wishes to succeed, is living and breathing the club day in day out not just during training but being focused on the players well being 24/7 too.

"Analysis of the opposition is critical so the management team has to well placed to know the leagues and its players.

"However above all the person we choose must be passionate about Southend United.

"We have had a miserable two seasons and my job is to give our great supporters something to be proud of.

"I am confident we can build a future off the pitch and now I must choose a manger and support staff who will drive the on pitch performances too.

"I intend to conclude the appointment this week.

"In the meantime the players will return to training on Wednesday.

"The training protocol has to be observed but we are confident of getting back into the groove in readiness for the start of the season.

"Let’s pray we don’t suffer from an extended second lock down that prevents fans in stadium.

"Whilst we will start behind closed doors (livestream will be available) at present sometime in October for a return to stadia is being considered.

"As I have said previously football without fans is not football.

"We need you back with us ... it is YOU that makes the difference”