KEVIN Maher is proud to be clocking up a century of games as Southend United’s head coach this weekend.

Maher will be in charge of the Shrimpers for the 100th time when they take on Rochdale at Spotland.

And the 46-year-old is pleased to have reached his latest landmark with Blues.

“It’s come pretty quickly and I didn’t realise until the other day,” said Maher.

“It’s gone quick but it also feels like a long time at the same time too.

“I’m proud of it because in your first job it’s always a difficult one to get to that milestone.

“I’m grateful to everyone around the place – the staff and the players and everyone around the club for their support.

“Hopefully there’s more to come.”

Maher -who made 454 appearances as a player for the Shrimpers - has built a strong side despite the club’s off-field issues.

And he has enjoyed a number of memorable moments in charge.

“There have been a lot of highlights and good moments,” said Maher.

“You look at the crowds we’ve had at some of the games and what we take away too which is brilliant.

“The connection between the players and the fans is massive.”

And that is in stark contrast to when Maher first took charge.

“There was a disconnect there before we came in the building and a football club is nothing without its supporters,” said the Blues boss.

“We know that and all we want to do is give them a team they can be proud of on the pitch.

“We also want to have a style of play that excites them and that they can support.

“For a football club to have that is massively important.”

Blues have been under a transfer embargo for the past 12 months but signings made before that have enabled Maher to make progress on the pitch.

“I look at the recruitment we’ve done and I think it’s been brilliant from John Still and all the scouts who go out,” said Maher.

“A lot of it is working well we believe and I think we’re in a good position to take it forward.”