SOUTHEND United manager Chris Powell is keen to start contract talks with his squad.

Six of the Shrimpers’ starting line-up from last Saturday’s clash against Walsall will be out of contract in the summer.

But Powell is fully aware of the situation.

“It’s something which has to be looked at and it’s something I looked at before I even became the manager,” said the Blues boss, who took control of the club towards the end of January.

“It’s always vital because you’re playing games and you want players to feel settled.

“Equally, players will be looking at their futures and wondering if they are wanted here and if they give the club everything because they might be moving on.

“All these thought processes come into their minds and I have spoken to some of the players’ agents already because that’s how the business is.”

Among those coming to the end of their current deals are captain Ben Coker and goalkeeper Mark Oxley, who has been among the best performers for Blues this season.

Simon Cox, Michael Timlin and Anthony Wordsworth will also be out of contract at the end of the season.

And Powell is already planning talks to get the situation sorted.

“I know there has to be a lot of discussions with my staff and Ron (Martin) because we have to look at all aspects,” said the 48-year-old.

“It’s something we will address and it’s something I want done as soon as we possibly can.

“I’m not saying it will happen this week or in the next few weeks.

“But I know it’s something we have to deal with because I want to know and I have to plan for next season.

“It’s important the players I want know that they’re here because we have to look to what we want to do next year as a football club and a squad.”