SOUTHEND United manager Phil Brown felt his side could have no complaints after suffering a shock 3-2 defeat against Exeter City at Roots Hall on Saturday.

The Grecians scored two late goals to fight back from 2-1 down to secure their first success of 2014.

And Brown begrudgingly conceded that the visitors were worthy winners.

“Exeter had the verve and tempo we couldn’t seem to get in to our game and they deserved to win the game,” said the Blues boss.

“The whole place seemed flat, there was a nervous tension and we didn’t play well.

“We were only ahead at half-time because of the saves Daniel Bentley made and I’m disappointed we weren’t able to see it through.

“We should have done much better and this isn’t a nice feeling at all.”

The defeat made it five matches without a win for the Shrimpers as they slipped to seventh in the League Two table.

And Brown now wants his team to work even harder to get his side’s promotion push back on track.

“I want my team to roll their sleeves up and get stuck in just not lie back and think of England,” said the Shrimpers chief.

“We had the Hull game here where there was a real buzz, every reporter and TV camera was here to see it and since we’ve lost that we’ve haven’t been quite the same.

“We went back to our tried and tested 4-3-3 today with Lee Barnard on the left but we didn’t defend well enough as a team to get the three points.”

Brown will now be seeking improvements against eighth placed Hartlepool United at Roots Hall tomorrow night.

But he is expecting another tricky 90 minutes against the Monkeyhangers.

“Hartlepool have picked up lately, they won 3-0 on Saturday and will be hard opponents,” said Brown.

“However, it’s an important game for us and we need to improve to get a much better result.”