Manager Paul Sturrock admitted his side made hard work of their 1-0 win against Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday afternoon.
A first half strike from Watford loanee Britt Assombalonga secured Southend United’s first win of the season.
But with United failing to take advantage of a number of second half opportunities, Sturrock felt his side could have done better after the break.
“We made the win hard for ourselves in the end and I think that is as a result of the poor start we have had,” Sturrock told the official website.
“There were several chances in the first half and then I think we had three clear-cut opportunities early on in the second.
“Had we put one of them away then I think the match would have been a lot easier.
“I didn’t feel we played with the right tempo in the second half as we ended up dropping back ten yards.
“That made it hard to support the front players but in the first half I thought we were very positive.
“John Spicer had two great chances that we need to start taking as when you don’t you start to get jittery and wonder if it is going to be another Accrington Stanley.
“But we got three points which is the main thing and we’re on our way now.”
Assombalonga reacted quickest in the sixth minute to head home the winning goal after Ryan Cresswell’s header was cleared off the line.
It was the Congolese forwards second goal in a week after his strike at Northampton Town a week ago.
And Sturrock was quick to praise the young forward, currently on loan from Vicarage Road.
“Britt wants to learn and he asks a lot of questions all the time,” he said. “He is very conscientious on the training ground and he works his tail off.
“He’s 19-years-old and he wants to run down channels and we are very pleased with him.
“We have a relationship with Watford and he has been very successful so far.
“He’s on a youth loan which means we can keep extending it each month as long as everyone wants it to continue.
“He will be a good player for Watford in the future but he is learning his trade with us at the moment and doing well.”
Meanwhile, Sturrock confirmed that winger Kevan Hurst was withdrawn in the first half with a vision problem.
“He couldn’t see out of one eye after a challenge in the first half so we had to take him off as a precaution,” said the Scot. “We will have to see how he is once he’s been checked out.”