NATHAN Ralph feels Southend United have made a positive start to the season – despite their league placing.

Blues are currently 17th in the National League standings.

But skipper Ralph has been encouraged by the opening few fixtures.

"I don’t want to look too much into things this early but we’ve played quite a few of the teams who are going to be up there pushing," said Ralph.

"I feel the performance is key and the fact we’ve had good ones shows we can compete with anyone in this league.

"We just need to take our chances, keep clean sheets and turn it into three points.

"But on the whole I do think it’s a positive start and it’s one we will build on.

“We will continue to get better throughout the season."

Blues produced a strong display in Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Wrexham at Roots Hall.

And Ralph was pleased to be back in action having missed the previous three games with a knee problem he sustained against Eastleigh.

“It was very pleasing to be playing again,” said Ralph.

“It was an injury from a tackle and I probably just went in a bit too hard to be honest.

“We had to let it settle down a bit and it was nothing major but it was good to be back playing.

“It was just frustrating we didn’t get more than a point against a team who are backed to win promotion.

“But it shows what we can do when we play our game and do the things we know we can do.

“It was mixed feelings but I was glad to play.”

And Ralph also experienced no pain on his return to action.

“Injury wise I felt fine but my lungs were feeling it a bit!,” said the defender.

“It will come back naturally and after a week of training I’ll be good to go again on Saturday.”

Blues head to sixth placed Wealdstone this weekend.

And Ralph is keen to see the Shrimpers converting more of the chances coming their way.

“We need to get the goals to turn one point into three,” said the 29-year-old.

“We can definitely do it and take chances, myself included.

“I had a good one towards the end as well on Saturday and when things click I think we will start to pick up points on a more regular basis.

“Saturday will be tough and it’s a hard place to go.

“It’s a proper non-league ground with the fans close to you and it will be a good test for us.

“They like to play football and it’s a different test we will have to overcome.