Ranger back for the Shrimpers

Nile Ranger will be available for Southend United
Nile Ranger will be available for Southend United

Former Blackpool striker Nile Ranger will be free to face Fleetwood Town and travel with Southend this weekend.

Ranger’s electronic tag – which he wore after being released from prison last month – is due to be removed today.

That means the forward – who had also been subjected to a 7pm curfew that would have made him miss the 552 mile round trip – will be available this weekend, much to the delight of Shrimpers boss Phil Brown.

He said: “It’s good news that Nile is going to be able to play, especially as he’s coming to the end of what we’re calling his pre-season now.

“He missed the Shrewsbury game because of the 7pm curfew he had but he won’t miss Saturday.

“He occupies defenders and we saw that for Anthony Wordsworth’s goal against Northampton on Saturday.

“Woody showed great class and composure to finish off the opportunity but it came around because their defenders were occupied by Nile.

“Nile’s fitness levels are very good at the moment but he will get sharper and stronger the more he plays.”