Lee Barnard on getting back to full fitness and getting the club back into League 1
Striker Lee Barnard says Blues must take it one game at a time if they are to seal promotion to League 1 come the end of the campaign.
Barnard says has sensed a real belief since re-joining the club that promotion can be achieved this season.
With the striker now having got game time on three occasions since returning, he’s hoping he can recapture the form he showed before to help the club achieve their goal come May.
The 29-year-old said: “From the first minute I walked into the training ground I felt there was a real positivity about the place and that’s very important.
“Since I’ve been here it’s been clear that automatic promotion is the main aim for the club and there’s the belief we can achieve that.
“We have got to take it one game at a time though, we’re all fully focused on the game against Mansfield Town on Saturday.
“We’re not looking past that. Anyone can beat anyone in this division but we have to make sure they don’t beat us this weekend.
“In training every day the lads are wanting to get the ball down and play, not just lump it long like some expect of this division.
“Hopefully I can get my first goal since returning on Saturday. I want to do everything in my power to get the club promoted and as a striker, it’s the goals that matter.”
Having not played before joining Blues since October, the striker says the only way he will get back to full fitness is with minutes on the pitch.
For that reason, he was delighted to play a part in the game against West Ham United on Tuesday afternoon, and felt he linked up well with Freddy Eastwood.
He added: “It was great to be able to play in that game and I actually thought we did very well because West Ham put out a strong side.
“It was nice to play alongside Freddy and I thought we did well together, it’s important to get an understanding with one another.
“Minutes on the pitch is absolutely vital so to have played in three games now is great and I hope I can play a part on Saturday too.
“I felt okay against Newport a week ago, and had a couple of half chances, but maybe it’s a case of my fitness catching up to my thoughts.
“The only way to do that is by playing games and we’ve got quite a few coming up, so I’m sure I can play a big part in helping Southend get promoted.”