OSEI Sankofa was not surprised to be released by Southend United.

The right-back made 44 appearances during two seasons with Blues but has not been offered a new contract by manager Steve Tilson.

And it did not come as a shock to the 25-year-old.

“It’s never nice to be let go by a club because you like to feel wanted, but I thought it was inevitable this was going to happen,” said Sankofa.

“The club finds itself in a certain situation and, after being relegated, I’m sure there’s a smaller budget for next season.

“I didn’t get to play too much last season either so I did think this was going to happen.”

Sankofa made only 13 appearances for Blues last term and could not dislodge the in-form Simon Francis from the starting line-up.

Francis went on to be crowned the club’s player of the year and Sankofa therefore has no complaints.

“Franno had a great season and deserved all the awards he got,” said Sankofa. “I’m happy for him and he’s certainly someone I will be staying in touch with from the club.”

Sankofa was more involved during his first season with Blues, making 31 appearances. And that included him starting both of the memorable FA Cup clashes against Chelsea which he will always recall with great fondness.

“Drawing 1-1 at Chelsea was definitely the highlight of my time with Southend,” said Sankofa. “It was a fantastic day and something I will never forget.”

Last term was not as enjoyable for Sankofa or Southend though as the club struggled badly both on and off the pitch.

Financial concerns resulted in the players being paid late on several occasions and the team were also unable to avoid relegation.

“I do think the players got distracted by what was going on and lost focus,” said Sankofa.

“There was always one thing or another happening and it did affect us because there was just no way that we were the second worst team in the league.”