Boss delighted with fifth consecutive victory for the Blues.
Southend United manager Phil Brown felt his side 'had more determination' than opponents Exeter City, as a late Michael Timlin strike registered a 1-0 win for the Blues – and a fifth consecutive win.
Blues produced a better performance in the second half, with Timlin's effort into stoppage time somehow finding a way into the back of the net after a Jack Payne pul back.
And Brown reflected that it was exactly what his side deserved in Devon.
“We had to wait for it and it was nerve-wracking at the end,” the boss said.
“The subs came on and made a massive difference. We started the second half better than the first and did better. The ground was firm and hard and it was more of a battle than a game of football and it's a massive three points for us.
“We had a great bench today being able to bring on the likes of Barry Corr, Jack Payne and Myles Weston. I didn't think the width caused them too many problems and we went for a diamond formation.
“It was the old warhorse Michael Timlin that got us the goal and he was fantastic – he deserves it more than anybody.
“They're a decent side and they played more football than us but we had more determination to get the win today.
“Nobody got a foot on the ball in the first half. The second half was better and I think we got what we deserved in the end.”
And the boss believes the win at St James Park, as well as Bury's victory at Portsmouth, sets up a mouthwatering fixture at Gigg Lane on Tuesday evening as both sides battle for the automatic promotion places.
“It's a great game on Tuesday now,” Brown said.
“Bury won today and it's a real six-pointed for the third place. We've won the last five now and six clean sheets in a row – I'm delighted with the mentality of the squad.
“John White would have been 50/50 today and I'd say he's 80/20 for Tuesday, but Lenny wants the shirt!”