Missed chances costing Southend United dear during early stages of the season

Phil Brown - saw his side draw 1-1 at Carlisle United on Saturday

Phil Brown - saw his side draw 1-1 at Carlisle United on Saturday

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FOUR league games in to the new season and opinion will already be divided on whether or not the glass is half full of half empty for Southend United.

Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Carlisle United again saw the Shrimpers produce some fine football which resulted in them creating a whole host of clear cut chances.

However, the majority of them were not taken and there lies the problem right now.

On form and consistency at this stage it is difficult to criticise Blues’ performances.

They have bossed most of their matches, have displayed incredible energy levels and an ability to pose opposition defences all kinds of problems.

As a result, they did not deserve to drop points against Carlisle at the weekend or at home to AFC Wimbledon last Tuesday.

But the reason they did was down to an inability to finish in front of goal as a high number of excellent opportunities continue to go begging.

Against the Dons, the Shrimpers unleashed an incredible 19 efforts at goal but were unable to make a breakthrough during an incredibly frustrating evening.

Saturday at Carlisle was fairly similar too, except for an excellent long range effort from Conor Clifford which nestled in to the back of the net to secure Southend a share of the spoils.

Aside from that though, Blues were again left feeling frustrated as John White, Myles Weston, Shaq Coulthirst and David Worrall all failed to score from promising positions.

Barry Corr were also denied by the Cumbrians’ goalkeeper Mark Gillespie and Blues must now find a way to convert a higher percentage of the chances currently being created.

It will be a tough dilemma for boss Phil Brown as there is little wrong with his team’s all round displays and unnecessary changes could disrupt and potentially derail that form.

But, at the same time, something does need to be done for Blues to turn their sustained periods of pressure and possession in to more points.

Trying to install more confidence and composure in to the team will not be an easy task.

However, that is exactly what is lacking at the moment.

The Shrimpers chief could therefore look to shuffle his pack in attack and hand summer signing David Worrall an opportunity to impress on the right hand side.

An even more popular inclusion would be Jack Payne after the youngster impressed in the Capital One Cup defeat to Walsall and he must surely soon be handed an opportunity to show off his undoubted talents in the league.

Other less unproven teenagers, Isaac Layne and Ellis Brown, are also available for selection.

But they may not yet be ready to be thrown in to League Two action and Brown may ultimately have to delve in to the transfer market to see what other options are available in attack.

Right now though, that seems rather hasty and the players already at the club deserve more of an opportunity to prove they have what it takes to become prolific at League Two level.

The likes of Lee Barnard and Corr have both done that in the past in the lower leagues and will still be confident of recapturing that form.

However, a lack of goals is not a new problem for Blues.

Last season they scored just 56 times in 46 games, at least 10 fewer than all of the four teams who went on to be promoted.

This time around, they have scored less than any other team in the top 10 and must quickly find an answer.

All other areas of the side still look strong with Clifford and Ryan Leonard excellent in midfield and , just like last term, the Shrimpers again boast the best defensive record in the division.

But all that will mean very little unless Blues start to hit the back of the net on a more regular basis.

And only when that happens can the glass definitely be half full.

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