SOUTHEND United new boy Jacob Mellis is edging closer to his Shrimpers debut after continuing to work on his fitness.

The midfielder joined Blues from Gillingham on transfer deadline day.

And boss Mark Molesley is hopeful Mellis will soon be fit enough to feature. 

"Jacob had sat on the bench for quite a while and had a small period injured before coming in and getting ill," said Mellis.

"We are building up his fitness and he is training.

"But after his illness we had the snow and everything was being done in small areas.

"He needed bigger distances and more match realism.

"We’ve got further ahead with him this week and that’s been great.

"He’s very close to being called upon and that gives us more strength in depth and more competition for places."