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Southend United's Phil Brown: We will stick by Ben Coker
SOUTHEND United manager Phil Brown defended Ben Coker despite the defender’s costly error in Friday night’s 1-0 defeat to Scunthorpe at Roots Hall.
Coker’s misdirected header enabled Chris Iwelumo to bag the only goal of the game.
But Brown was reluctant to criticise the full-back.
He said: “Ben has been outstanding for us this season so far and he did nothing else wrong apart from that one mistake.
“It was a costly error and it did change the course of the game, but I’ll be sticking by him and we’ll go again during the week.
“We’ll all have to pick him up off the floor because he’s down at the minute but we’re a tight group here and we’ll get him through.”
Coker’s error led to the Shrimpers suffering a fourth successive defeat.
And Brown was left questioning the character of his team after suffering the latest setback.
“It’s not the talent of the team it’s the character because that’s what we’re lacking in certain stages of the match,” said Brown.
“We’ve been asking for that for several weeks now but we’ll get the one or two in that we can and go from there.
“But we’ve got to learn and grow up quickly as a team now.
“This is a brutal and hard division and we lacked the intelligence to win the game and we didn’t manage the match well enough either.
“In the first half it was one-way traffic and if we had someone in the six-yard box on a couple of occasions we could have been two or three up by half-time.
“However, things just aren’t dropping for us at the moment.”
But Brown is still confident his team will soon get back on track and recover from the run of poor results which followed three straight victories at the start of the season.
“We must keep working hard though and the players must listen and understand what we want from them,” said Brown.
“Scunthorpe showed their nous after they went in front and that’s what’s eluding us.
“It’s not just the young lads it’s everyone but things will turn for us if we keep on plugging away.”
Brown is also considering delving in to the transfer market to improve his team.
And the Shrimpers chief is still mulling over a move for midfielder Gomez Betsenel who was playing in Spain last season.
“Gomez was here tonight, we’ve got a bit of talking to do but it’s possible he could sign,” added Brown.