Blues Boss gives his verdict on a disappointing night for Southend.Phil Brown says it’s imperative that his Southend players get Friday night’s disappointment out of the system immediately.
Blues fell to a 3-1 defeat at Port Vale on a bitterly cold night in Staffordshire, all three goals for the home side coming in a poor first 45 minutes.
And Brown is expecting a reaction from his players come Tuesday night against Crewe back at Roots Hall, calling the performance “inexcusable”.
“It was a lacklustre first half,” said Brown.
“Where that comes from I don’t know. We’ve had four days between the two games, Monday and tonight, so you can't say it was a lack of preparation.
“It was just a night of naivety more than anything.
“It is embarrassing to tell you the truth.
“I asked them to win the second half at half time which they did and we could have made it 3-2, but it isn’t good enough.
“The first half performance was inexcusable.
“We need to dust ourselves down and get on with it. We’ve got two home games coming up and it gives us a chance to out some points back on the board.”
Carl Dickinson put the Valiants in front, latching onto a corner which made its way through a crowd of bodies before Michael O’Connor grabbed the second.
A third was added shortly before the break via an own goal, and even if there was time for Sam McQueen to get on the scoresheet, Brown was left frustrated with the defending in the first period.
“In the first half I didn't think there was three goals between the two sides.
“We had a couple of decent chances, Anthony Wordsworth to name two, but at the same time some of the defending was inexcusable.
“There wasn’t a man that won his individual battle in the first half, hence we were 3-0 down.
“As a man, we need to look at ourselves. There were one or two that stood up to it in the second half but that’s not enough for me.”
The manager went on to add that talk of the play-offs need to be dampened.
“We are where we are. I’ve got to look at this and analyse it.
“If they are thinking about the play-offs now then we need to forget about it and concentrate on the next game and the next game only which is Crewe Alexandra.
“We can’t take our eye off the ball and start looking at the play-offs and back-to-back promotions.
“We’ve got to go to game 34 and then game 35.”