SOUTHEND United new boy Sam Mantom has set his sights on securing a third successive play-off spot.

The 25-year-old midfielder has enjoyed top six finishes with Walsall and Scunthorpe United in the past two seasons.

And Mantom now believes the Shrimpers are capable of doing the same, despite them currently sitting 15th in the League One standings, 11 points behind sixth placed Bradford City.

“I’ve finished in the play-offs in the past couple of years and when you look at the players in the squad here I still think Southend can make the top six too,” said Mantom.

“I certainly think it’s what everyone should be aiming towards and I’m looking forward to playing my part.”

Mantom - who is on loan from Scunthorpe United until the end of the season - has not played first team football since October and has since undergone surgery on a double hernia.

But the former England under-17 international insists he is now ready to return.

“I’m training but it will be up to the gaffer when I’m involved,” said Mantom.

“I obviously want to get out there and start playing again to help the team but the last two games have been victories so I fully understand it would be unfair to take anyone out of the team.

"But I’ve done a lot of running and I’m happy to be here.

"The manager is infectious and the new staff who have come in have given everyone new energy and people have bought into that so it’s a good place to be.”

And Mantom is also looking forward to playing at Roots Hall once again.

“I’ve always enjoyed playing at Roots Hall, it’s a compact ground and I’ve done alright there,” said Mantom.

“I’ve had some good results there and scored there two or three years ago as well so it will be good to play there even though I’ve been told the pitch isn’t the smoothest.”