Sam Mantom is really enjoying life at Southend United and says he feels the best he has felt for a long time.
The midfielder - currently on loan from Scunthorpe United - started his first game for Blues in the 2-0 win over Rotherham United.
And Mantom says he’s settled in well with familiar faces such as Jason Demetriou, Simon Cox and Marc-Antoine Fortune around to help.
“Coming into a fresh place and fresh people everyone is judging you from new and where I was a little bit behind, just finishing my rehab, I’ve had to try and force my way into the team so it was slightly difficult.
“I came down here thinking I just need to get on with it.
“There was a period of trying to bed myself in but that is all behind me now and I can only look forward.
“I’ve been back in training for a few weeks and I feel the best I’ve felt for ages. I was surprised by how good I felt against Rotherham.
“I was a little bit anxious to get in there and see if I could do what I wanted to, but I responded really well to it and I thought I did pretty well on Saturday.
“I’ve really enjoyed it so far and I’ve just tried to take every day in my stride.
“I played with Jason loads in my time at Walsall and every time you see him he brings a smile to everyone face.
“There’s people like Marco and Coxy who I played with at West Brom. They were brilliant for me and helped me grow as a player then and now we’re playing together again.
“It was nice to know somebody but that was a bit of a swinging factor in coming down here.”
Talking ahead of Friday’s game against Plymouth, Mantom hopes he’s done enough to keep his place and he’s hoping to get a run of games under his belt now.
“I want to put the performances in for myself because if I put them in for myself then that helps the team and can lead to picking up wins.
“There’s eight games left and that is quite a big chunk of games.
“I haven’t played eight games consecutively for a season now, so that’s what I really want to do.
“I’ve done it before but I’ve not done it for a season or so due to injuries, so it will be nice to do that.”