KING’S Lynn manager Tommy Widdrington is preparing for his own local derby at Roots Hall tomorrow.

The 50-year-old spent six months as assistant manager with the Shrimpers before departing in December 2010.

But Widdrington has stayed living in Southend and will forever be grateful for his time with Blues.

“It changed my life weirdly,” said Widdrington, looking back on his time with Southend.

“I met a woman and got married to her this year.

“I’ve always stayed in the area and it’s my home now.

“I’ve got a fondness for the club because it’s my local club now.

“It’s a place I visit very regularly and if there’s a game on I can go to, I’ll go and watch.

“Other than tomorrow I’ll be hoping Southend do very well.

“But I’m a member of a couple of local clubs so there’s bragging rights to be had!”

After moving on from Blues, Widdrington managed Hemel Hempstead Town and Eastbourne Borough before taking up a recruitment role at Coventry City.

Widdrington then took up a similar position at Bristol Rovers in May 2018, where he worked closely with Blues boss Kevin Maher.

And Widdrington is pleased to see Maher getting a chance in football management with the Shrimpers.

“I was delighted Kevin got the job at Southend,” said Widdrington.

“He’s worked ever so hard and he deserves this opportunity.

“I’m sure we will have a natter before the game and a couple of drinks after it too but we won’t be mates for the 90 minutes in between!”

Widdrington took charge of King’s Lynn in December and faces a huge fight to keep them in the National League.

The Linnets are currently second from bottom in the table, 11 points from safety.

But Widdrington is eager to make the most of the opportunity.

“I knew what I was getting in to and it’s not really given me any surprises yet in terms of the opposition,” said Widdrington.

“We’ve had a very difficult run of games so far.

“I’ve had one against a team below us which we won and we’ve played first, second and fourth.

“But we’ve got 23 games left and I’m very confident I can get this group of players, with a couple more coming in, a lot more competitive than they have been.

“I’m looking to finish as high up the table as we can in those 23 games and I genuinely believe we can finish above two more teams.”

But, despite Blues sitting just above the drop zone, Widdrington will not be placing added importance on Friday night’s game.

“It’s a cliché but ultimately you treat every game as one project,” said Widdrington.

“We’ve got 23 cup finals and we need to win more games than we lose.

“But this game is no bigger than any and they all have three points on offer.”

However, Friday’s game will see Widdrington back in the dug-outs at Roots Hall for the first time since his departure from “I was assistant to Paul Sturrock and for one reason or another it didn’t work out,” said Widdrington.

“But it was nothing to do with my deficiencies by the way.