SOUTHEND United manager Phil Brown hit out at his own players and referee Simon Hooper following Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Mansfield Town.

The Shrimpers slipped to seventh in the League Two standings after failing to perform against the struggling Stags.

And that infuriated Brown, along with a number of the decisions made by the officials which included an 81st minute red card shown to substitute Conor Clifford.

“We didn’t lose the game because of the referee, we lost because we weren’t good enough but some of the decisions were baffling,” said Brown.

“We were denied two stonewall penalties – one for a foul on Barry Corr in the first half and one for handball in the second.

“The corner which led to Mansfield’s second goal wasn’t a corner and Conor’s red card was a fair challenge as well so the breaks certainly didn’t seem to go our way and I just wish the ref could come out and explain his decisions.”

Clifford, who was also sent off against Mansfield at Roots Hall in November, was dismissed after making a sliding challenge on Stags striker Matt Rhead.

But Brown insisted he was not the only one who disagreed with the decision.

“The fourth official was right next to me, we were a yard away from where it happened and he was telling everyone it wasn’t a red card,” said the Blues boss.

“I just don’t understand why he can’t also say it to the referee because he’s run 25 yards to show the red card without talking to anyone.

“We all know what type of player Conor is but this was a fair challenge and he got the ball.”

However, Brown was also angered by the performance of his own team.

“We just never seemed to get going and it was very disappointing,” said Brown.

“We simply weren’t good enough to get anything from the game and that frustrates me.”