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The former Republic of Ireland youth international has joined Southend United on loan and is keen to help the side into the League Two playoffs

Wigan Athletic defender Rob Kiernan has said that he is hoping to make an impression after joining Southend United on a three-month loan deal.

The former Republic of Ireland Under-21 captain has opted to join the League Two side in order to get first-team football and made his debut in the 1-0 victory away to Burton Albion on Saturday.

"I'm really looking forward to getting some first-team games under my belt," Kiernan told the club's official website after signing. "I have seen in training that the manager likes to get the ball down and play football.

"Hopefully I can make an impression while I'm here and help the club climb into the play-off places."

Southend boss Phil Brown said that he was "delighted" to have secured the services of the defender and said that he was impressed by his application during training.

"I'm delighted to have Rob signed. We are a bit short defensively at the moment," said Brown.

"He has impressed us all in training and comes here with experience of this level having enjoyed a number of loan spells in the last few seasons."

Kiernan began his career with Watford and enjoyed a number of loan spells at Kilmarnock, Yeovil Town, Bradford City and Wycombe Wanderers before joining Wigan Athletic on a free transfer in 2011.

The 22-year-old has yet to make a senior apperance for the Latics but has had further loan spells with Accrington Stanley, Burton Albion and Brentford. He now links up with compatriots Conor Clifford and Michael Timlin at Roots Hall.