Phil Brown reflects on the 2-2 draw with Fleetwood at Roots HallPhil Brown admitted Southend United have a mountain to climb to reach the play-offs but promised to keep pushing until it is mathematically out of reach.
Blues had looked like taking all three points at home to Fleetwood Town, but were punished by late Ashley Hunter goal to give Steven Pressley’s men a share of the spoils.
That was after Jack Payne had given Southend an 82nd minute lead, and Brown said there is still plenty to fight for.
“It’s bitterly disappointing for everyone,” said Brown.
“To be brutally honest, at 2-1 up, I was counting my lucky stars because I didn’t think we deserved to be in front, but you take whatever this division and this game gives you.
“The equalising goal was a bit of a goalmouth scramble. Adam Barrett, who deserved something from the game, certainly got his reward by getting into the danger area.
“Then Jack Payne provided a little bit of magic again.
“It wasn’t his best game but he’s a goal threat and Jack’s got six or seven goals in the last eight or nine games which is different class.
“To get 2-1 up in the dying moments of the game and not hold onto it was a disappointment for everybody.
“It keeps the season alive at 2-1. At 2-2 it gives us a mountain to climb, but we’ll keep on climbing it.”
Blue are now 11th in the league, nine points off the play-off places.
Next week is a trip to Walsall and Brown is keen to keep the players on their toes.
“With four teams on 59 points and both Bradford and Millwall winning their games, it looks, certainly, a bridge too far at this moment in time, but we’ll keep going.
“Theres contracts to be had, there’s better contracts to be had, so theres always something to play for.
“It is going to be a stretch, but we have come into a new division and acquitted ourselves well.
“Talking to other managers, a lot of people have given us plaudits, but I’m disappointed, if truth be known, that we’re not knocking on the door of the play-offs.
“We’ve scored more goals than last season already with five games to go and we’ve gone up a division, but it’s the clean sheets that worry me.
“We haven’t kept enough and that is the reason we are where we are.”