BROWN READY FOR NEGATIVE HEADLINES
SOUTHEND ........0 BRISTOL R ..........0
PHIL Brown was in defiant mood despite a goalless draw making it five games without a win since he took the reins at Southend United.
In a goalless draw at Roots Hall Southend were on top for the majority of the match.
However, a failure to finish meant they had to settle for just a share of the spoils.
“I know the headlines will be that I haven’t won for five games but I’m keen to look at the positive side of things,” said Brown.
“We let four goals in at Rochdale on Wednesday night but looked far more solid this time and that resulted is the first clean sheet since I’ve come in, which is very pleasing.
“We also had more than enough chances to have won the game and John Ward admitted to me at the end of the match that he thought his team got away with it out there.
“We should have had two or three goals and, while it was obviously frustrating we didn’t, I thought the shape of the side worked well.
“But I probably made a mistake in taking Freddy Eastwood off and I’m happy to take the criticism for that because Bristol Rovers got back in to it a little bit more after that.”
Southend’s first good chance came midway through the first half when an unmarked Ryan Leonard headed Marc Laird’s leftwing cross straight at Rovers goalkeeper Steve Mildenhall who was making a return to Roots Hall.
Shrimpers skipper Ryan Cresswell then headed a Sean Clohessy cross just past the right post before Britt Assombalonga and Barry Corr both wasted great chances to open the scoring after the break.
Assombalonga headed another Clohessy cross wide of the right post when he should have done better before Corr nodded past the opposite upright after good work down the left-hand side from Anthony Straker.
Eastwood then had a low shot well saved by Mildenhall who also reacted well to keep out Assombalonga’s effort to ensure the game ended goalless.
And Rovers boss Ward admitted his team were fortunate to avoid defeat.
“We have got away with it after Southend missed a few chances in the second half,” said Ward.
“But we nearly snatched it at the end but, although it wasn’t our best performance, we have been dogged and determined but Southend did miss some glaring opportunities.
“I have a saying which is attitude first, effort second and ability third and they had the first two but we lacked a bit on the ability. “However, we’ve managed to keep a clean sheet and get a point and that is pleasing this afternoon.”
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