SOUTHEND United boss Mark Molesley feels Alan McCormack’s experience will be a huge boost for the Shrimpers.

The 36-year-old midfielder has returned to Roots Hall until January.

And Molesley is certain the Irishman can make a big difference.

"I remember playing against Alan and he’s a really tough competitor which is what I think we need,” said Molesley.

"He’s got that steel, grit and experience and is a very good football player.

"You don’t have the career he’s had without being a very good footballer and a fierce competitor.”

McCormack has won promotion three seasons in a row, the last of which came with Northampton Town last term.

And he will now be a huge help to the younger players around him at Blues.

"It’s clear that last Saturday we had a very youthful squad out there,” said Molesley.

“With some of the experienced players out injured at the moment, I think when they come back and we add Alan to that we’ve got a better balance.

"He’s won this league numerous times and that experience is unrivalled.

“He was playing in a successful play-off final a few months ago and you can’t buy that.

"We want winners, we want strong characters and that strong mentality, and Alan ticks all of those boxes.”

McCormack made 166 appearances for Blues before leaving in 2010.

And the midfielder already knows all about the club.

"He’s no stranger to the fans, he’s got great memories here and he’s another one who’s still got hunger to achieve in this game,” said Molesley.

"He’s no stranger to the chairman either, who actually mentioned Alan to me as well.

“Everyone is delighted to get that experience in the camp.”