Southend United defender Leo Roget has revealed that he is ready to commit himself to First Division strugglers Stockport County.

The 23-year-old defender joined County on loan three weeks ago and is hoping to complete a £100,000 switch to Edgeley Park.

And Roget, who has been with Blues since he was a 13-year-old schoolboy, admitted the time was right to leave Roots Hall.

"I've been with Southend for more than ten years and I think it is time to move on," said the centre-half, who has played more than 100 games for the Shrimpers.

"I want to play at a higher level and joining Stockport would help me to further my career.

"The manager here has told me he wants to sign me. The month's loan was arranged to help me settle into the Manchester area and get to know the other lads.

"As far as I'm concerned this is where I want to be - playing in the First Division - and I'm ready to sign for Stockport and help them win their relegation battle."

Roget's loan expires after this weekend, but he can still join Stockport, despite missing last Thursday's transfer deadline, because of a clause in the arrangement.

He has started all four matches since arriving at Edgeley Park, drawing two and losing one of his outings, before playing his part in an important 2-0 win over promotion-chasing Birmingham City.

And the talented, but volatile defender, who is on a week-to- week contract at Roots Hall, said the change had been good for him.

"Sometimes you need to make the break and get away," said Roget. "I felt that I had gone stale with Southend and I needed a fresh challenge.

"In an ideal world, Blues would still be in Division One and I wouldn't have to leave Roots Hall.

"But they are in Division Three now and I need to play at a much higher standard than that.

"All I want to do now is join Stockport, help keep them up and look forward to starting a new Division One campaign after the summer."

Meanwhile, former Southend striker Martin Carruthers took a parting shot at the Seasiders, following his £20,000 deadline day move to Blues' Third Division promotion rivals Scunthorpe.

"I've left one promotion-chasing side to join another and I hope it is Scunthorpe that make it and not Southend," said the hitman, who scored 26 goals in 70 League appearances for the Shrimpers.

"I was in and out of the side at Southend and it is nice to get a fresh start somewhere else. This has been a good move for me and I aim to make the most of it."

Blues' trip to Third Division leaders Chesterfield on Saturday has been made all ticket.

There are only seats available, priced at £11 adults or £6 concessions. For bookings call the Roots Hall ticket office on 01702 304090.

By Bernie Friend

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