PHIL IS DEFIANT DESPITE DEFEAT
SOUTHEND boss Phil Brown remains confident of reaching the play-offs – despite suffering defeat at Charlton.
The setback was the Shrimpers’ second in succession and saw them slip to seventh in the League One standings.
But Brown is convinced his side will be able to bounce back.
“We still have the confidence and the belief that we’re going to make the play-offs but we’re certainly making things difficult for ourselves,” said Brown.
“It’s a bitterly disappointing result but I’m not going to stand here and bemoan the fact we’re missing some big players.
“Of course we’re missing Ryan Leonard, Ben Coker, Nile Ranger and Anthony Wordsworth but those coming in have got to be taking their chance. John White came in and certainly took his and I think the game changed when he also had to go off with an injury.
“I’m frustrated because we had 2, 500 fans here and they were different class so I’m disappointed we couldn’t get something from the game for them.”
Southend are now a point behind sixth-placed Millwall in the standings and found themselves a goal down after just six minutes at the Valley.
Addicks winger Ricky Holmes – who grew up supporting the Shrimpers – collected the ball on the left-hand side of the penalty area and netted with a powerful left-footed shot.
The Shrimpers equalised five minutes later when John White headed home Michael Timlin’s corner and, at the start of the second half, Southend winger Stephen McLaughlin was denied by Declan Rudd when clean through on goal.
However, Charlton hit back and regained the lead in the 74th minute when Holmes’ cross was met by Jake ForsterCaskey whose effort deflected in off Adam Thompson.
Southend pushed for a late equaliser with McLaughlin being denied by Rudd before Frank Nouble headed wide from close range.
But 16th-placed Charlton deservedly held on to pick up just their second win in 15 games, much to the relief of manager Karl Robinson.
“It was a big result,” said Robinson, whose side are five points clear of the relegation zone.
“The emotion from myself and the players at the end was clear for everyone to see.
“We’ve trained here for two days because I wanted them to feel comfortable at home.
“I brought teams here for years and loved coming here because it’s a unique place.
“Sometimes when you only come here when things aren’t going right for you it can be a place to be feared so we changed our training this week and everything was here. “It was a very important win, but it’s all down to the players and the fans.”