SOUTHEND United manager Phil Brown slammed his side as ‘embarrassing’ following a convincing 5-0 defeat at Rotherham United on Saturday.

The setback was Brown’s biggest since taking charge of Blues in March 2013 and was the club’s heaviest loss since 1998.

And the Shrimpers chief was quick to apologise to the 529 travelling fans at the New York Stadium.

“I’m embarrassed, I feel for the fans and I apologise to them,” said Brown.

“I had the players in at 7am yesterday and we’re all hurting together.

“It was a great performance from Rotherham and I take my hat off to them.

“They were first class and we couldn’t deal with them.

“You don’t want to get too down after just two games but too many of our big players didn’t turn up.

“The skipper (Anton Ferdinand) had an off day but we can’t afford for the others to fold like a pack of cards and we’re already trying to get to the bottom of what went wrong.”

Rotherham dominated Saturday’s game from kick off and scored three times inside the opening 23 minutes to leave Brown questioning all aspects of his team.

“I can’t put my finger on it or explain why the quality players we’ve brought in can’t take a corner, why the centre halves didn’t want to put their head in and why the strikers didn’t hold the ball up or take their chances,” said Brown.

“The midfielders didn’t create and everything just went wrong.

“It’s back to the drawing board because Rotherham’s desire was greater than ours.”

And Brown was also left questioning his players’ pride.

“The manner of the defeat was totally unacceptable,” said Brown.

“Our supporters should know we will be doing something about this, that’s for sure.

“I have to look at why the players haven’t worn the shirt with pride and why they’ve embarrassed me, themselves and the supporters who travelled.”