SOUTHEND United manager Phil Brown has revealed he was first offered the chance to return earlier this season.

Brown, who spent five years in charge of the Shrimpers before being dismissed at the start of 2018, will boss Blues’ final six games of the season.

But the 61-year-old was first handed an opportunity to come back in the middle of the current campaign.

“I was offered it in the middle of the season while I was still in duty in India,” revealed Brown.

“Ron (Martin) phoned me and asked what the timelines were with regards to getting back from India but it was a non-starter at the time really.

“I would’ve had two weeks to get out of India and then had two weeks in quarantine so that situation would have been detrimental to the team rather than beneficial.”

However, Brown was still able to tell Martin of his plans.

“I told Ron I was back in England on Match 15 and had 10 days of quarantine in the Cotswolds afters that,” said Brown.

“When I came out of that I got a phone call on Thursday morning asking if I wanted to meet for a coffee so I said yes.”

That eventually led to Brown being offered the job and he will now be working closely with Martin once again.

“We had a working relationship for five years and it was stressful at times and strained,” said Brown.

“He’s been a difficult guy to work with but he probably thinks the same about me and that’s football management as far as I’m concerned.

“But with six games to go I still think we can get out of this and I wouldn’t have come back if I didn’t think that was the case.