Lack of goals has Brown in a funk
SOUTHEND United manager Phil Brown admitted his side’s failure to finish was starting to become a problem following defeat to Swindon Town at Roots Hall.
Jack Payne and Noel Hunt missed chances for the Shrimpers before Fabien Robert fired home for the third time in three matches to secure the points for the Robins.
That extended Southend’s winless streak to five games at the start of the season.
But it is the lack of goals causing manager Brown most concern.
“We’re going to have to address the goalscoring situation because we’ve only got one goal in five games now,” he said.
“I couldn’t have asked any more of the players and we did everything apart from stick the ball in the back of the net.
“We came up against one of the best teams in the division from last season and we narrowed them down to huff and puff, really.
“There was a lot of graft, industrious and good play but we’re missing the final piece of the jigsaw, which is a goalscorer.
“We’re still in the market for one to come in alongside Noel who made the best chance of the game for Jack.
“You can also hand us all the plaudits you like for playing well but we’ve lost the game.”
Swindon came closest to scoring in the first half with Nathan Byrne having a 20-yard shot parried to safety by Daniel Bentley.
But, after the break, Shrimpers midfielder Payne fired wide of the left post from 12 yards before Hunt failed to convert Ben Coker’s left-wing cross from close range.
Swindon made the most of the let-offs by scoring the only goal of the game, with Robert again on target.
The in-form Frenchman raced in behind Coker to collect Byrne’s through ball and fire in.
However, Southend still came close to grabbing a point with substitutes Myles Weston and Joe Pigott both being denied by Swindon goalkeeper Lawrence Vigouroux.
And Robins boss Mark Cooper admitted his side were fortunate to win. “We played as badly as that but we’ve still kept a clean sheet and won 1-0,” he said.
“It just shows you that you have to take these bits of fortune when they come your way.
“We got a bit of bad luck the other night against Port Vale but it’s evened itself up here.
“We haven’t ground out too many results since I’ve been here but we have here and Southend can consider themselves extremely unfortunate not to have taken anything from the game.
“We’ll take it though because we should have won the other night and we didn’t.”
STAR MAN LAWRE