Barnard aims to repay Southend

Lee Barnard made his Southend return permanent this week and is already looking ahead to the new season.

The striker scored 35 goals in two years with the club from 2008 to 2010 and after finding opportunities difficult at Southampton, he is ready to hit top form once again for the Shrimpers.

Barnard told the club's website: "It's a fresh start for me in many ways because I'll be able to get a full pre-season under my belt in preparation for the new campaign which I didn't have last time around.

"I'm really pleased to be back at the club and playing under Phil Brown. I was thankful to him and the chairman for bringing me back to Roots Hall.

"Hopefully I can get a good pre-season under my belt and then when the season starts, repay their faith by getting goals to help the club do well.

"I've been working hard in the last couple of weeks because I want to be in the best shape possible for the first day of training."Barnard spent the first half of last season without playing a competitive fixture at Southampton, before a loan move to Roots Hall, where he scored once in 14 appearances.

He added: "It was frustrating at times last season but I'm confident I can get back to my best with a good pre-season under my belt."