SOUTHEND United manager Phil Brown insists he enjoys working with Simeon Akinola.

The Shrimpers striker seemed destined to leave the club before being handed a surprise recall against Eastleigh on Tuesday night.

But, despite trying to move Akinola on, Brown stressed he does like the 29 -year-old.

“Having dealt with Sim since I arrived at the football club it’s been a chequered relationship to say the least but I like him,” said Brown.

“There’s something about him I like and I don’t know whether or not it’s the intelligence levels. He’s got a degree in engineering and an interesting background.

“There are certain things I like about him but the most important thing is when he crosses that white line he has to have my interest and vice versa.”

Akinola started Tuesday night’s 1-0 win against Eastleigh alongside Hamzad Kargbo in attack.

And the forward lasted an hour before being taken off.

“Of course he was going to be ring rusty on Tuesday and he’s playing alongside a player making his full debut,” said Brown.

“You would probably look at that and ask what am I doing but it was a 90 minute game-plan including the impact subs who certainly did impact the game in a massively positive way.”

Brown also confirmed Akinola was available for selection against Chesterfield this weekend despite twice needing treatment early on against Eastleigh.