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Southend United manager Phil Brown: Stay on until you can no longer walk
SOUTHEND United manager Phil Brown has defended his decision to delay the substitution of Mark Phillips during Friday night’s 1-1 draw with Bristol Rovers at Roots Hall.
Phillips signalled to the bench that he was unable to continue after suffering a hip injury during a clash with Pirates striker Matt Harrold.
But Brown chose not to immediately substitute the centre-back, much to the frustration of the Shrimpers supporters.
“The fans could see Mark had made the hand signal to say he wanted to come off so they were frustrated,” said Brown.
“But as far as I’m concerned he’s a man and he should stay out there until he can no longer walk.
“Why make the change as early as you can, especially when you’re down to your last four defenders?
“To lose one of our main defenders was a blow and you therefore see if he can run it off but the change was actually a massively positive one in the end.”
Brown eventually decided to bring on Jack Payne in place of Phillips.
And he was left fuming that the young midfielder was not awarded a penalty on the stroke of half-time when he appeared to have been fouled by Lee Brown.
“It was an unbelievable decision,” fumed the Shrimpers boss.
“The ref's got to be looking at the linesman to give him a hand and what he doesn’t see I don’t know.
“It’s a foul so it’s inside or outside the box or it’s a booking for a dive.
“Jack Payne’s a young lad, he’s not a cheat and he certainly hasn’t been taught to dive.
“So why would he go down when he’s got the chance to get the ball into the box from a dangerous position.”
Blues then went behind when Harrold continued his fine scoring sequence against his former club by heading home from close range. However, Southend hit back to secure a point when Kevan Hurst netted from long range.
And Brown felt a lack of quality in attack led to his team having to settle for a draw.
“It wasn’t for the want of trying that we didn’t get all three points but we just needed a bit more on quality in the final third and a bit of lady luck too,” said Brown.
“Bristol Rovers came for a point and they got one so fair play to them.
“But fingers crossed we can one or two in this week.”
Blues have now not won in six games and remain 14th in the League Two table