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Leonard: I just want to keep improving

9 March 2014

Ryan Leonard speaks after signing a new contract with Southend United on Friday

Ryan Leonard says he can get ‘better and better’ for Southend United, having signed a new three-and-a-half year deal with the club on Friday.

The 21-year-old midfielder committed his long-term future to the club and then set his sights on getting even better, after an already impressive season.

Leonard has made 36 appearances so far this campaign, mainly in the middle of midfield, and says he feels there’s a lot more to come from him.

He said: “I’ve moved into a new position and I still feel like I’m learning the role and getting better and better with it all the time.

“I’m happy to play at right-back whenever needed, but I’m really enjoying my new midfield role, and think there’s more to come.

“I’ve added goals to my game, but I’ve got a target for this season and hopefully I can achieve that between now and May.

“Committing my future to Southend United was an easy decision for me to make. I’ve loved every minute of my time here.

“What’s important now is that I keep developing and helping the club try to achieve promotion, which is the aim for everyone here.

“We’ve had a rough patch, but I think we’re still in a good position to get promotion to League 1 this season.”

Leonard says a big part of his reasoning behind staying with the club was manager Phil Brown, and the faith he has shown in him since he arrived.

“The manager and the backroom team have been excellent this season,” he added. “I’ve moved to a new position and they’ve really helped me develop.

“Obviously getting the captaincy when John White was out was a bit of a shock for me, but it showed the faith the gaffer has in me which was a big boost.

“I just want to repay the faith he has shown in me, but I also want to repay the supporters who have always been great with me since I came to Roots Hall.”

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