Phil Brown on the defeat to Millwall...
Phil Brown was far from happy with two big decisions that went against his side in Southend’s 1-0 defeat against Millwall at The Den.
The Blues boss was understandably unhappy with the decision not to award a penalty late on after Jermaine McGlashan appeared to be brought down in the area.
But it was the straight red card for Will Atkinson just after the half hour mark that frustrated Brown most as he felt had it of stayed at 11 vs 11 his side may have won.
“I think both decisions went against us. [Will Atkinson’s sending off] was never a red card for me, it was a yellow card. Will is a genuine, honest player. He’s genuinely gone in for a challenge.
“[Jermaine McGlashan] didn’t dive, it was a penalty. It’s as simple as that, so that’s two decisions that have gone against us.
“That would have got us something from the game. Maybe we could have won it had been 11 v 11, I’m not saying we would have done but maybe we could have won it.
“Millwall certainly started the game well. We knew what we were coming up against, we knew it wasn’t an easy place to come to and we were well prepared for that.
“After 20 minutes I started saying to my players get your foot on the ball, start controlling the game which I thought we did and then the Will Atkinson incident completely turned the game on its head.”
Brown said in the immediate aftermath of the game that he would certainly be appealing the red card awarded to Atkinson which, if upheld, would see him miss the next three games for the Blues.
Atkinson was left distraught by the sending off with the midfielder in tears at half time, but Brown and the rest of the squad told him that he had nothing to be sorry about.
“Yes we will appeal it, of course we will.
“When you analyse the players that you’re playing, if you know there is maliciousness in their challenge then I can see referee’s giving red cards but there’s no malice in Will Atkinson’s game.
“There’s none, he’s a genuine kid. He’s all about energy, all about legs, he’s all about helping his team to win a game of football.
“He’s in tears at half time and apologising to people and we all, more or less, told him to shut up. It was a waste of time telling us you’re sorry, he shouldn’t be apologising.”
Southend now have to pick themselves up for another huge game in the race for promotion as they travel to Oxford United on Tuesday night.
Brown was relishing the trip to the Kassam Stadium and has set his side a challenge of finishing above Millwall after two tight 1-0 defeats in a row to the Lions.
“No problem with that whatsoever [the trip to Oxford], the character in this changing room is first class.
“Our challenge is now to finish above Millwall, it’s as simple as that. That’s the first challenge. We’ve been here twice, we’ve lost both games 1-0.
“We didn’t deserve to lose the first one on footballing principles and didn’t deserve to lose the second one on refereeing principles.”