STEVE Tilson said his Canvey side will look to play entertaining football following his appointment as their new manager.

The 45-year-old, who famously led Southend to promotion to the Champ-ionship, said his close affinity with Gulls made it a simple decision to return to the non-league side.

“It is only because it is Canvey that I have taken this job,” said Tilson, who play-ed a starring role in Jeff King’s famous 2001 FA Trophy– winning side.

“I absolutely loved my time playing here – I got on well with the fans and we had some great times.

“It is a well-run club and I hope I can now be a part of them doing well.

“This is not a case of me just thinking I’ll be here for a year then I’m gone. I want to try and bring the fun factor back a bit.

“Without a doubt I will be getting my team to try and play football and be entertaining like we were at Southend.

“Obviously we want to win games, but I know the fans want attractive football. And that’s what we’ll try and produce.”

Tilson is Canvey’s third manager in six months and takes over from Glen Alzapiedi, who stood down early last week after falling out with chairman George Frost.

He will bring in ex-Canvey defender Craig Davidson as his assistant and they will assess the current squad before deciding where they need to strengthen. He said it was too early for him to think about who he might pick as captain.

Tilson said his first priority was to work on fitness levels following a disrupted pre-season and to identify players who are totally committed to the Canvey cause.

He said he will work with a “competitive budget” but not one which allowed him to just “throw money” at recruiting new players.

The former midfielder said he had not been set targets by the board for the coming season and that he viewed it as a “long-term project”.

He said: “One of the good things here at Canvey is they do not spend money they have not got.

“So many clubs get in trouble by doing that, but this is well-structured club and I think it’s got to be that way.”

He explained he’ll work closely with director of football John Batch to bring new players to the club.

“Between us we’ll work hard to find the players we need,” he said.

“Obviously I have contacts in the pro game but they have to be the right players with the right attitude.”

Tilson was sacked as manager of Lincoln City in October, and also recently applied for the manager’s position at Gillingham, but it went to Martin Allen.

He will take charge of Canvey for the first time on Tuesday when they travel to his former club Witham Town for a friendly. The Gulls start their pre-season campaign with a trip to Bowers & Pitsea on Saturday.