SOUTHEND United manager Phil Brown has revealed he is still in talks to bring Joe Pigott and Stephen McLaughlin back to the club.

Both players ended last season on loan at the Shrimpers.

But Brown is keen for them to return to Roots Hall as Blues begin life in League One.

And the 56-year-old hopes to be able to move both deals forward after returning from pre-season training in Spain tomorrow.

“We’re still very much looking to bring back both Stephen and Joe next season and I’m hopeful of the deals happening too,” said Brown.

“Stephen is away at the moment too as Nottingham Forest are doing their pre-season training in Sweden but as soon as we’re both back it’s certainly something I will chase up.

“It’s a similar story with Joe really. Charlton wanted to have a look at him during pre-season because the manager had never seen him play before.

“But they would have been back for a week or so now, so the manager will have more of an idea on Joe and might be in more of a position to decide whether or not he wants him to stay.

“We’ve certainly registered our interest and it would be great to get both of the lads back because we already know all about them and how well they can fit into the group.”

Striker Pigott spent the last five months of the previous campaign on loan with Blues, scoring seven goals in 23 appearances.

The 21-year-old memorably netted the Shrimpers’ last gasp equaliser in their play-off final success against Wycombe Wanderers at Wembley after coming off the bench midway through the second half.

McLaughlin, who plays on the left flank, started the clash with the Chairboys and netted twice in his eight games with the Shrimpers during a two month spell, including a crucial effort in the second leg of the play-off semi-final against Stevenage.