Trio Ready to Go

Last updated : 09 January 2002 By Andy Beill
David Lee
David Lee in Southend colours
David Lee, Mike Price and Neil Mann may all be set to go after being frustrated in their attempts to get in the Tigers first team.

Midfielder David Lee, who has made only two starts since signing from Southend in the summer, is the subject of a transfer bid by 2nd Division side Brighton & Hove Albion. Lee wasn't included in the Reserves squad this afternoon despite being fully fit. Seagulls boss Peter Taylor is stalling on talks until next week.

Welsh Under-21 Mike Price is another being linked with a move. When released by Everton in the summer, City took the left-back on trial. After impressing in pre-season he was given a two-year contract. However, Goodison, Holt and Edwards have kept him out of the team, and with the signing of Van Blerk he finds himself yet further behind in the queue for a place. Bournemouth are the club reported to be looking at the dynamic Welshman, probably on a trial spell to start with.

Neil Mann hasn't made the first team squad once this season despite signing a three-year contract in March. The 29-year-old has said that he would favour first team football at another club, while Tigers boss Brian Little says that he "wouldn't stand in his way". Oxford - who Mann played a trial game for in December - and Conference strugglers Scarborough are both thought to be looking at the left-winger.

Brian Little
Brian Little - ready to wave off fringe players
Little said of Mann: "He's not in our first team and he knows there are other players ahead of him. The chances of first team football for him are very difficult. If the option to go comes up then he should consider it."
"However, that could be said of three, four or five lads who are not in the team. The standard to get into the side is getting higher and higher. If you fall behind the target, it will get even harder.
"Those players not in the team are treated unbelievably well and always will be but people have got to look to the future."

Little signed 13 players in the summer and has added another two since the start of the season, leaving players like Mann, Lee and Price stuck in the Reserves with little chance of breaking into the first team.