BARRY Fry is backing Chris Powell to keep on shining as manager of Southend United.

Powell has become the first permanent Blues boss since Fry back in 1993 to win his first two games in charge.

And Fry, who had Powell in his own Shrimpers side, is certain the former left-back will be able to build on his unbeaten start.

“I think Chris will be a great manager for Southend if he’s backed by Ron Martin,” said Fry.

“Ron deserves to be congratulated for appointing a black manager as I think there should be far more in the game and Chris is a great fit there.

“He was an absolutely outstanding player for Southend and he was always someone who you thought would go into coaching and management.

“He’s vastly experienced now and he’s done well at the clubs he’s been at.

“I think all Charlton Athletic fans will tell you Chrissy should still be in charge but their loss is Southend’s gain.”

Fry now works as Peterborough United’s director of football.

And he was therefore able to see first hand the improvements Powell has already made after Blues dug deep to triumph 1-0 at London Road on Saturday.

“Chris has galvanised the players and they already look like a completely different team,” said Fry, who spent nine months in charge of the Shrimpers back in 1993.

“It was a great win against Scunthorpe in his first game and I thought Southend were the better team from start to finish against us too.

“They maybe had a break or two with the offside decisions but Southend deserved the win.

“Chris has got them playing and it’s a great appointment for the fans as well who I’m sure can really relate to him.

“I think Chris will really stamp his authority on things in the summer when he can bring in his own players.”

Powell made a trio of new signings on transfer deadline day last week and will now be looking to secure a third win in succession when the Shrimpers host table-topping Wigan Athletic this weekend.

But Fry is certain more success will soon be secured by Powell in the Roots Hall hot-seat “I think it’s an exciting time for Southend with Chris in charge now,” said Fry, 72.

“Maybe they might even get that blooming stadium built too!”