WILL Atkinson feels he should have been awarded a new contract at Southend United.

The 33-year-old midfielder has not been offered a deal to remain at Roots Hall.

And Atkinson, who returned to Blues for a second spell at the start of last season, is sad to be moving on.

I personally feel like I played well enough to get something but I understand the new manager wants to take things in a new direction,” said Atkinson.

“It’s sad but it happens in football and I will look back with fond memories on my second spell here.

The start of the season was hard and the atmosphere was obviously a little bit negative off the back of two relegations but I always so proud and glad to be back.

“To be honest this is a bit like my second home.

“I love being at the training ground and love playing for the club but it’s time for something new now.”

Atkinson made 173 appearances during his first spell with the Shrimpers which ended in the summer of 2017 before he returned to play 33 games last season.

But the midfielder is keen to keep on playing.

“I’m in a better position this year because I’ve played the games and feel like I’ve done OK,” said Atkinson.

“But you know what football is like and it’s a bit of a rat race in the summer.

“There are so many players out of contract and it’s just so competitive.

“The older you get people look at you in a certain way but I’d like to think I’ve shown I’m fit.

“I have to lot to offer and fingers crossed something will come up because I want to keep on playing.”