Southend manager reacts to Fleetwood draw...
Blues boss Phil Brown was disappointed to see his Southend side drop two late points against in-form Fleetwood Town but was pleased with the character his side showed.
It looked like Anthony Wordsworth’s first half strike was going to be enough for the Blues to go home from the Highbury Stadium with all three points until a 90th minute equaliser from David Ball kept the Cod Army’s unbeaten run going.
Despite the sucker-punch of the late goal, Brown was more than happy with his side’s application on the day and felt they certainly deserved to come away with more than just a point.
“I think the better team lost two points today, didn’t gain a point, and people might think that’s a bit of a moan but it’s not at all,” said the Blues’ gaffer.
“You come here with a game-plan and we executed the game-plan to the nth degree. That was including losing the club captain [Anton Ferdinand] in the warm-up.
“To force Fleetwood, a side that is in such a rich vein of form into gung-ho tactics at the end of the game, it just shows you what a characterful performance it was from us.”
Minutes before kick-off the Blues were forced into making a late change with Anton Ferdinand failing a fitness test on a hamstring injury, being replaced by John White who paired up with Adam Thompson at centre half.
It was an eventuality that Brown had planned for and he was full of praise for White, and Thompson, for their performance on Saturday afternoon.
“We prepared for it [Anton’s injury]. Anton was talking about a tight hamstring on Thursday or Friday so we prepared John [White] for going into that slot, the left-hand side of the back pairing. And if anyone deserved a clean sheet, John White did.
“If anyone deserved a clean-sheet it was the pair of them – John White and Adam Thompson – I thought they were outstanding in the face of adversity. They were throwing everything at us and were playing with a front four in the end so you’ve got to give them credit.”
Brown was also quick to lavish praise on Southend’s goal-scorer, Anthony Wordsworth, saying that he fancied the Blues number four to grab himself a goal but that he felt that one goal was never quite going to be enough against Uwe Rosler’s side.
“Woody [Anthony Wordsworth] has trained like a man possessed this week and, consequently, I fancied him to score today. Simon Cox and Marc-Antoine Fortune have [trained well] as well, but that clear-cut second chance didn’t quite come.
“We had all the right ingredients to go and win the game with a second goal, and for some reason today I felt like we needed that second goal.
“They’re not where they are in the league because they’re a bad side. They’re an organised team, they’ve got a good coach in Uwe [Rosler] and, to give them credit, they threw caution to the wind and they got a point.
“People might look at it and say it’s a great point [for us], but it isn’t a great point. We dropped two points today.”