Nile Ranger: Southend United training period probably 'last-chance saloon'
Southend boss Phil Brown says striker Nile Ranger knows he is in the "last-chance saloon" during his one-month "test period" at Roots Hall.
Ranger has not played a first-team game since November 2014, shortly before he spent seven months absent from former club Blackpool.
The 25-year-old later put that down to the death of two friends.
"He's a good lad, he's getting his head down and in sort of last-chance saloon if you like," Brown told BBC Essex.
Ranger, fined for criminal damage in May 2014, left Blackpool in February.
Ranger began his career at Newcastle and also appeared for Barnsley, Sheffield Wednesday and Swindon.
He has scored 17 goals in 127 league matches during his career.
Brown continued: "He's been given an opportunity by ourselves for a month to start off with and if we see what we've seen in the last few days I'll be delighted.
"I've seen a lad whose application is first-class. He's got ability, that's without a shadow of a doubt unquestionable.
"But the downside to Nile is he's probably missed three or four pre-seasons of late. If you miss a pre-season you miss a chunk of the season.
"We've already tested him and found out what he's capable of, he's quick, can move, got ability with the ball, he's a big lad, we'll see all of that come together [because of pre -season].
"Then, who knows? If he's earned the right to a contract he might be the guy who leads the line for us next year."
David Mooney and Jason Williams are the only strikers Southend have on the books for next season, and Brown is hopeful Ranger can rediscover the form that once earned him England youth honours.
"Nile's still got a good 10 years to establish himself in the game. At this moment in time he will only be remembered for the bad things, unfortunately," said Brown.
"From this moment onwards he has to be remembered for the good things; that's his ability, scoring goals, leading the line, bringing to the party what I know he can do but on a regular basis."
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