Date: 2nd July 2014 at 11:12am
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I’m a huge Lee Barnard fan, what Southend fan wouldn’t be after his first spell at Roots Hall? I always had concerns about his return when he came in from Southampton on loan last January to end the season and this didn’t exactly go to plan did it.

In his fourteen games back with the club he managed just one goal but a term of the deal always meant that he’d be returning on a permanent basis this season, I’ve still got reservations about this but with a full pre season behind him this could help.

Barnard definitely feels it will and expressed such thoughts in his recent interview with the Echo.

Last season was frustrating for all, none more so the 29 year old who says he wants to repay the faith that the club showed in him and have continued to do so by hitting the ground running in pre season and then doing what he does best next season, scoring goals.

When you’ve not played much football as you’re out of favour with your club or another loan hasn’t quite worked out, as happened with Barnard, it’s difficult to get up and running but we’ve also got to remember that he came back to Roots Hall without a first team game at all in nine months due to injury so his fitness and sharpness was always going to be lacking.

Pre season gives him the chance to work on this and he goes into the 2014/2015 season with a clean slate then, fingers crossed, the Barnard we know and love will come to the party this season.

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