Blues Boss Phil Brown was surprised and disappointed to see his side’s unbeaten run come to an end, feeling that Sheffield United’s big players turned up whereas Southend’s didn’t.
Southend were soundly beaten by the league leaders, with goals from Simon Cox and Jermaine McGlashan not enough to prevent Sheffield United winning 4-2 at Roots Hall.
The defeat ended a 13-game unbeaten run in the league which stretched back to October and a defeat to next week’s opponents Rochdale, and Brown’s reaction to the Blades defeat was “more of surprise, more than anything else.”
“The game was set up for a top vs 7th, two in-form teams, but one team turned up and one time didn’t which is the surprise and the disappointment," he said.
“Their big players have turned up and maybe ours didn’t. But I have to say, the way they played they were certainly fired up for it and my team weren’t, and that’s my responsibility.”
The Blues made just the one change from the 0-0 draw against Swindon on January 2nd with Brown replacing McGlashan with Nile Ranger as Southend went with three in attack.
Brown admitted that maybe he was too concerned with what Sheffield United had rather than his own side, but that he could not legislate for the goals that his side conceded.
“We changed the system slightly to incorporate what they were playing and maybe I was looking at them too much.
“Maybe I was looking at the fact they had potency in their strike force, they had a back three and I wanted to do something about it. At the end of the day I can’t legislate for the goals, it’s nothing to do with the system.
“They are a good side, I take my hat off to them. I was disappointed in the way they reacted at times to certain things, but they were probably smarting from the fact that we beat them 3-0 at their place.
“The bottom line is four shots on target, four goals. I don’t like the sound of that.”