SOUTHEND United manager Phil Brown feels Jack Bridge is returning to Roots Hall a different player from when he departed.

Bridge is back with Blues after sealing a switch from Bromley.

And Brown is pleased to have the attacking manager back on board. "For sure Jack is returning a different player,” said the Shrimpers boss.

“He went away and got experience and game time under his belt.

“He now knows what it’s like when a manager wants him to hold down a place.”

Bridge came through the youth ranks at Roots Hall and made 11 first team appearances before leaving in 2018.

The 25-year-old spent time with Carlisle United, Northampton Town and Concord Rangers before joining Bromley in the National League last season.

And Brown now feels Bridge is capable of taking charge of a midfield.

"Jack is experienced from a Southend perspective, but he is also a young, impish sort of character that can run a midfield on any one given day," said Brown.

"It’s all about the business end of the competition for me.

“When Jack is fully fit he will probably have more energy levels than anybody else in the National League.

"If he’s fully fit and we keep him out there then he should be running midfield and I’m looking forward to seeing him play.

"He provides lots of options and the ability to change systems during the course of a game which I will working on in pre-season.”

And Brown also believes Bridge can impress in a number of different roles.

"Jack can play centre midfield, out wide in a four, wing back and the number 10,” said Brown.

“He can play in a number of positions.

“But it’s his ability in tight positions that I hope he will bring to the party and I’m looking forward to seeing that work.”