Football - Leonard eyeing Shrimpers progression

Southend midfielder Ryan Leonard hopes Saturday's victory over Chesterfield, along with his own display, can kick-start the season for both him and his club.

PA Sport

The 20-year-old endured a difficult start to the campaign due to injury but is hopeful he can play a big role for the Shrimpers as they look to earn promotion to npower League One.

He told the club's official website: "For me personally it was great to be back playing again and it was a vital win for the team too.

"It had been a frustrating time for me getting niggling injuries and not playing and the last few results hadn't been too good either.

"But the win at Chesterfield was a character building result and hopefully we can build on that now and hopefully I can play a part in that."

Leonard started the first six games of Southend's season before being struck by a hamstring injury. Since then he has made the starting line-up just three times and has made five substitute appearances.

Despite that, and a lack of reserve football, he was able to put in a strong performance and last the full 90 minutes at the Proact Stadium.

"I was feeling it a bit in the last five minutes but I was fine up until then. You do extra training when you're not playing but it's hard to replicate what it's like when you're playing.

"The game would have done me a lot of good though and I want to try and push on now and remain involved for this Saturday's game against Oxford."

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