Phil Brown: Bolton Wanderers link not an issue for assistant

Phil Brown
Brown has won 29 of his 75 games in charge of Southend

Southend United assistant boss Dave Penney says he is unaware of any contact between manager Phil Brown and Bolton Wanderers.

The 55-year-old worked under Sam Allardyce at Bolton for six years and is among the favouritesexternal-link to replace Dougie Freedman, who left last week.

Brown made more than 300 appearance for the Trotters during his playing career.

"He's not spoken to us about it. We're fully focused on Saturday," Penney told BBC Look East.

Brown led Hull City to the Premier League for the first time in their history in 2008 and has since managed at Preston before taking over at League Two Southend in March last year.

Dougie Freedman
Dougie Freedman left Bolton with the club sat second bottom in the Championship

The Shrimpers were beaten in the play-offs last season and are currently fourth in the table.

In his Southend Echo columnexternal-link on Wednesday, Brown said he had received no contact from Bolton.

But he added: "It's still the same chairman that's there now, Phil Gartside, and he said he felt I needed to get out and cut my teeth as a manager myself.

"I think I've probably done that now but I'm perfectly happy at Southend and want to finish off what I've started here."

Brown did not attend Thursday's media conference at the Southend training ground, although Penney will often face the press in the manager's absence.

"Obviously he has the connection with Bolton and naturally if a manager is near the top of any league and has a history with a club all these things gets put together and two and two become five," said Penney.

"I haven't even asked him once if he is going to Bolton. We just come in and get on with it.

"When you're getting linked with other clubs it means you're doing something right."