Southend United 'can be next season's Wigan Athletic' - Graham Coughlan
Southend United can replicate the form of League One leaders Wigan next season, according to Shrimpers assistant boss Graham Coughlan.
Wigan, three points clear at the top, host 13th-placed Southend on Saturday.
"There's no reason in the world why Southend cannot be doing what Wigan are doing in 12 month's time," he said.
"We've done OK this season, but OK isn't good enough. Had we had a bit more consistency we possibly would have been the ones that end of the table."
Meanwhile, 23-year-old Shrimpers defender Adam Thompson, who has made 25 appearances this term, has signed a contract extension that will keep him at Roots Hall until the summer of 2017.
Southend were promoted from League Two last season and were within touching distance of the third-tier play-off places for much of the current campaign, but are now 10 points off with three games to go.
Coughlan told BBC Essex: "We should be higher, we've chucked quite a few points, made some silly errors. We've enjoyed it, but again, you enjoy winning and we haven't won enough games.
"We'll be OK, we're not too far away. A couple of fresh faces, experienced buys in this division might help us next season."
Phil Brown's side can no longer qualify for the play-offs and are not in danger of relegation, but Coughlan insisted there was still much to play for in the rest of the campaign.
"You're judged every time you take to the field and if there's one or two players at the football club that are struggling in this division, they'll be obviously found out and left behind," he added.
"There's players playing for contracts and futures. At this moment in time we're mid-table so the lads haven't really convinced the gaffer for next season.
"He will quite easily leave one or two of them behind if he feels they aren't up to the job. Every time they take to the pitch and represent this club they will have to make an impression. Saturday is no different."