Manager Paul Sturrock admitted he was proud of his players following their 2-0 defeat at Oxford United.
10 man Southend slipped to a second successive loss in npower League Two at the Kassam Stadium.
But despite the scoreline, Sturrock praised his sides work rate after Michael Timlin’s 27th minute red card.
“I am proud of every one of my players,” Sturrock told the official website.
“Their work ethic was different class when we went down to ten men and despite losing a bad goal in the second half everyone put in a real shift.
“If we can stay with eleven men and give that sort of work ethic then very soon we will be back on the rails.”
Midfielder Timlin saw red for a second bookable offence midway through the first half.
Having been booked five minutes earlier for a strong challenge on Damian Batt, Timlin was then cautioned for a second time after catching Jake Forster-Caskey.
That saw referee Oliver Langford reach for his red card in what Sturrock felt was a soft decision.
“We started to settle down after the first 25 minutes and then a soft second yellow card changes the whole complexion of the game,” he said.
“The referee has to give a yellow card but it is one of those really soft ones.”
Blues were buoyed though by the performance of striker Gavin Tomlin who put in another Man of the Match display.
Despite that, Tom Craddock put the home side in front in the second half before doubling his sides advantage as Southend threw everything forward in search of a equaliser.
“Gavin Tomlin has been magnificent in the last two games for us and I thought Britt did well when he went on as well,” Sturrock gushed.
“When you have ten men it is very difficult to stick two forwards on but at 1-0 we had to have a go but we paid the penalty at the back as a result.
“We went three at the back which made it worse instead of better.
“The shoe was on the other foot last season when they went down to ten men and we made it very difficult for them and came out winners.”
And as Southend goes to Northampton Town on Saturday in search of their first win of the season Sturrock will be speaking to the heavens in the build-up.
“Lady luck has turned her back on us at this moment in time,” he said. “I am going to have a wee word with the gods and see if she will turn back round to us.”