Sky Bet League One side Southend United have appointed former defender Chris Powell as their new manager.

The Essex side have been managerless since the 17th January when Phil Brown was put on Gardenling Leave whilst a settlement agreement was completed, however the Blues have acted swiftly by appointing former defender Powell.

The 48-year-old made 290 appearances during a six-year spell at Roots Hall,however elsewhere his career saw him become an England international and play for Derby County, Charlton Athletic, West Ham United, Watford and Leicester City.

The Shrimpers sit one place and a point above the Sky Bet League One relegation zone, however they have brought Powell to Roots Hall with the immediate objective of securing their survival.

The 48-year-old began his managerial career at Charlton Athletic with whom he won the Sky Bet League One title in 2012. In September 2014 Powell joined Huddersfield however he struggled to win only 15 of his 58 games in charge and was sacked just over a year later.

Speaking in a press conference following the announcement, new Southend United boss Powell said: “I can’t play anymore, I wish I could, so the natural progression is to be Manager. The short term and immediate aim is to make sure we become a solid club in this league and then build from there.

“We’ve got a good squad with good experience. The knowledge and quality they have can get us out of the situation. I’ve watched some games this season and we just need to build some consistency.

“We have to make sure we have a squad that can see out the remaining 18 games and then we’ll go from there.

“I’ve educated myself and kept myself busy in the game in my time out of management. We’ve got good people here already and I’m looking forward to working with them.

“I want the fans to be on board. We’re going to have a spirit as a team to buy into and I want the fans to buy into it too.”

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