SOUTHEND United have shortened the list to find their next manager, Stan Collymore has revealed.

Collymore is on a four man panel to find Blues’ next boss.

And the former Shrimpers star confirmed progress is being made in the search for Phil Brown’s replacement at Roots Hall.

“As set out last week, a large list of candidates was reduced to a smaller number who were interviewed over three days,” said Collymore.

“Every candidate had as long as they liked to set out how they would manage the team and all noted the professionalism of the process, something new to even longstanding football professionals.

“That's how we want Southend United to be seen so that feedback I wanted to pass on to you as it's important to know the image and work of this great club is changing. Changing for the better.”

Collymore has been joined on the panel by chairman Ron Martin, chief executive Tom Lawrence and director Gary Lockett.

And Collymore insists there will be no more ‘boom and bust’ appointments. “Ron, Gary, Tom and I have now discussed names in particular roles and most importantly, how those names fit into what we are trying to achieve in the short, medium and long term,” said Collymore.

“We've dispensed with boom and bust hires.

“We want Southend United to have a club football structure which decides what the club wants and its vision, which will be set out clearly to you guys in the next week or two, not the dangerous cycle of a manager who comes in, rips up the old guy's team, buys his own, only to be sacked a year later.

“This leaves great financial waste, this leaves a disjointed squad, this leaves no continuity or vision.

“This has now changed.

“The structure will be manned by the best people, qualified across the board to make decisions that are in the best interests of the club and club alone, with a defined and clear vision of what Southend United is, wants to be and will be. This avoids the three points above.”

But Collymore feels the next boss must be someone able to introduce a ‘vibrant environment.’ “This managerial search hasn't been about finding a messiah,” said Collymore.

“It's been about finding individuals who can motivate and coach, but also to create, along with other technical staff, a vibrant environment that develops talent, creates a culture of winning on the pitch and off the pitch, is willing to work with equally talented people in other departments at the club, and have a clear plan for doing so.

“To this end we believe there is a small group of those interviewed that can deliver this from day one.

“And I believe all 4 on the panel, all very different people, believe the same.

“We are close. Tomorrow will be a big day as we now look to all agree the final names for several key roles, not just manager, we are rebuilding a football department. This has been challenging and exciting but as important as any individual hire.

“This will be done as it has in the last two weeks.

“Collegiate, honest, in good humour and with great due diligence.

“And at the end of this process the reasoning why will be explained to supporters groups, by me at a venue and time of supporters groups choosing.

“It's vital you understand the thinking behind decisions because it's your football club.

“We are firmly on track.”

And Collymore feels the next few days are crucial for the club.

He added: “This week will reveal many very good, but most importantly, well thought out things. It may be the most important week in rebuilding Southend United Football Club as a modern, progressive football club.”