SOUTHEND United’s assistant manager Dave Penney felt the Shrimpers were unfortunate to suffer a 1-0 defeat at Burton Albion yesterday.
Adam McGurk fired the Brewers to victory in the first leg of the semi-final play-off.
But Penney felt Blues were the better team.
“I thought Burton got a bit fortunate with their goal because it was just a ricochet which sent their player through to score,” said the 49-year-old.
“That was probably the only real chance they had and Daniel Bentley didn’t really have too much to do, so it’s frustrating and disappointing to have lost.
“We had a couple of chances towards the end as well, with their goalkeeper making a good save to stop John Egan scoring, but we all felt we were the better team.
“We just maybe didn’t have the cutting edge we needed to get goals.”
Blues found it difficult to break down a determined Burton defence, even when the Brewers were reduced to 10 men after Ian Sharps was dismissed on the hour mark.
He was sent off after being shown two yellow cards in quick succession.
And Penney was disappointed the Shrimpers did not make more of their extra man.
“We’re frustrated that we didn’t maybe make more of them having 10 men but we’ve seen how tough it can be to break teams down when they have someone sent off,” said Penney.
“We saw it here earlier on in the season and we’re disappointed but we can’t afford to be too downbeat because it’s still only half-time in the tie.
And Penney also wants the Shrimpers fans to play their part in turning things around in the second leg.
Around 1,700 supporters made the trip to the Pirelli Stadium to roar on Blues and Penney is now urging them to remain right behind the players.
“The fans were absolutely superb here and we need them more than ever on Saturday as well now,” said Penney.
“We knew all week there was going to be a big following here and they out sang Burton all afternoon.
“We’ll need more of that next weekend because we’ve got to turn this tie around.
“A fast start will be important, but we know one goal draws us level and there’s no away goals either “It’s going to be a great occasion and both sides will believe they can do it, and that they’re just 90 minutes away from a Wembley final.”