THE apprentice will be looking to topple his master when Southend United visit Stevenage this weekend.

Shrimpers left-back Tom Clifford grew up watching Ben Coker in Blues’ starting line-up.

And the youngster is looking forward to facing Coker, who now plays for Stevenage, on Saturday.

“Ben was always the left back as I was growing up in my younger days and I spoke to him a bit when I was in the 18s and 23s as well,” said Clifford.

“He was a really good player who was unlucky with injuries but it’s good to see him playing again.

“He certainly helped me and it would be good if we’re both involved on Saturday now.”

Clifford had started seven games in succession before suffering a back spasm just seconds before kick off against Forest Green Rovers.

But the 21-year-old cane off the bench against Bolton Wanderers on Saturday and is now feeling back to full fitness.

“My back feels a bit better now as I’ve been seeing the chiropractor and getting treated for it,” said Clifford.

“I just felt a spasm in the warm up before the Forest Green game and it sort of just locked up.

“I could hardly move which was frustrating because it happened literally just before kick-off.”

Blues’ results have also caused frustration and Mark Molesley’s men remain bottom of the League Two table.

But Clifford insists the Shrimpers still feel they can work their way out of trouble.

“We are all confident that we will start picking up some better results,” said Clifford.

“We will keep doing our best for the results too.”

That quest will continue at relegation rivals Stevenage this weekend and Clifford is aware the match is hugely important for both teams.

“It’s a big game for sure and it will be tough,” said Clifford.

“We will need to be at our best and have a bit more ruthlessness.

“But we will give it our all.”