Southend United manager Phil Brown tells players after Torquay United defeat: Leave if you can't hack it

Echo: Phil Brown - frustrated by Southend United's defeat at Torquay United Phil Brown - frustrated by Southend United's defeat at Torquay United

SOUTHEND United manager Phil Brown has told his players to jump ship if they cannot handle the pressure that comes with pushing for promotion.

The Shrimpers saw their seven match unbeaten run ended by a shock 1-0 defeat at bottom of the table Torquay United on Saturday.

And Brown feels Blues, who slipped from third to seventh in the League Two table, must be able to handle the rising expectancy levels if they are to stay up towards the top of the standings.

“My ambition is to get the club promoted, it’s the ambition of the chairman and the whole football club but if the players can’t handle that then now is the time to get out,” said Brown.

“I’m bitterly disappointed with this performance and I thought we were unrecognisable from the team that had been playing so well in the last few games.

“To a man I don’t think anyone had a good game and when that happens individually you have no chance collectively as a team.

“We went route one too early, we didn’t handle the conditions or our opposition and in the end I think we were probably flattered by the 1-0 defeat.”

The Shrimpers sunk to defeat after Torquay’s on loan striker John Marquis fired home the only goal of the game five minutes in to the second half.

But his well taken strike came just 40 seconds after Barry Corr had missed a glaring chance at the other end of the field.

And Brown felt it could have been a different game if the striker had hit the back of the net.

“It was a good chance for Barry and the first goal was always going to be important so it could have gone differently if he had scored,” said Brown.

“But the players need to step up again now. The last time we had a performance like this was at Newport some harsh words were spoken for a reason and we went seven matches unbeaten.

“We now need to see a similar reaction, especially as we’re about to enter a very important stage of the season and we will have to play much better than we did here."

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