PHIL: MY FOCUS IS PURELY ON THE BLUES...
PHIL BROWN insists he is concentrating on winning promotion with Southend United, despite being tipped to take the reins at Bolton Wanderers.
Championship side Bolton parted company with manager Neil Lennon on Tuesday after former player Dean Holdsworth’s Sport Shield consortium completed a takeover of the club.
And, while the Trotters have confirmed interim manager Jimmy Phillips will remain in charge for the rest of the campaign, it has done little to deter talk of Brown returning to Bolton.
Brown made more than 250 appearances for the Trotters before serving as assistant manager to Sam Allardyce for more than six years.
But, with Southend heading into yesterday’s clash with Gillingham just four points off the League One play-off places, Blues boss Brown is focusing on the task at hand.
“I’m happy as manager of Southend, but I am ambitious. I want to get back to the high- est possible level,” said the 56-year-old, who has been in charge of the Shrimpers for the past three years.
“I want to have another crack at the Premier League, but I have a big job on my hands with Southend and that’s all I’m focusing on.
“Speculation is always flattering because it means you’re doing well, but all I’m thinking about is Southend and I would like to think our performance at Barnsley last Saturday (a 2-0 win) showed that.”
Brown, who led Southend to promotion via the play-offs last season, is contracted to the club until the end of the 2017-18 campaign.
But he revealed he has already been in talks with chairman Ron Martin about signing a new deal.
“I’ve had plenty of conversations with the chairman about the future and new contracts have come up,” he added. “There’s still work to be done here and we want to get this club back into the Championship.”
HAPPY: Phil Brown