ROCHDALE manager John Coleman felt Blues' defender Ryan Cresswell should have been sent off during his side's 3-1 defeat at Roots Hall on Saturday.
Cresswell tangled with Dale striker Terry Gornell when the striker was through on goal midway through the first half.
And Coleman was adamant that should have led to a red card for the former Rotherham centre-back.
“I thought the referee had a big decision to make in the first half when Terry was in on goal and he bottled it,” said Coleman.
“For me I think he should’ve sent off Cresswell and that would’ve changed the game for us.”
But Coleman was also critical of his side's defending as he felt Southend were gifted at least two of their goals.
“We are not good enough defensively and we are giving teams goals, which is what happened out there,” said Coleman.
“We invited Southend into the game after we scored and we then pinned them back but committing eight men forward when we are winning 1-0 away from home is borderline stupid.
“I don’t know what goes through our minds sometimes, we left ourselves too open and we have been working on the defence all week so it is very disappointing.”