The boss reacts following Blues' final game against Bury
Southend United boss Phil Brown was left disappointed after the Blues missed out on a play-off place, despite beating Bury 1-0 at Roots Hall.
Stephen McLaughlin’s first-half goal was enough for Southend to complete their side of the bargain, but a late Millwall goal at Bristol Rovers meant the Blues missed out of a top-six place.
And Brown felt the range of emotions experienced by the home fans throughout the game typified his side’s season of ups and downs.
“At 3-3 (between Bristol Rovers and Millwall), for those five minutes Southend fans were on the edge of their seats thinking that we’ve done it, we’ve achieved it. So the range of emotions has been highs, lows, but that sort of typifies the season.
“Not focusing on Millwall, focusing on us was a key factor today. The fact that Bury had something on the game made it more competitive, a more balanced game as opposed to a team coming here and shutting shop.
“Then it was about taking the chances when they came along. We did with one, but then we had three or four other chances where we’ve not worked the goalkeeper or missed our opportunity. That’s probably the tale of the season.”
Brown ended by reflecting on a season that began so badly for the Blues, with Southend in the relegation zone after 12 games before turning it around to almost make the play-offs.
Southend’s gaffer also had a final word for the fans who he described as “absolutely first class” before setting his sights on promotion next season.
“If I take you to the first 12 games and we’re in the relegation zone, then I take you to the last 34 – from the last 34 games we got 60 points. If somebody gave me that from the first 34 next season I know I’ll be in a promotion battle and that’s what we’ve got to take from this season.
“We’ve got to try and hold on to as many players as I possibly can, keep the nucleus of the squad together and take the opportunities next season that we didn’t take next season.
“[The fans were] absolutely first class. They got behind the team, they were as nervous as what we were, but I think the players showed today that they can play under pressure.
“But we need to play under pressure from minute one next season and not after 12 games. We’ve got to hit the ground running, we’ve got to use what we’ve used positively next season and make sure that we get promoted.”