SOUTHEND United manager Paul Sturrock was left suffering mixed emotions following his side’s hard fought 0-0 draw at Torquay United on Saturday.

The Scotsman was full of praise for the way Blues battled against their high flying hosts.

But Sturrock felt a share of the spoils was not enough to keep alive Southend’s slight hopes of a top-three finish.

“I thought we played very well, especially in the second half and that was very pleasing to see against such a well-organised side, but at the same time this result has probably cost us any chance of automatic promotion,” said Sturrock.

“We will of course keep trying because it’s not mathematically impossible yet and we obviously want to do well in the three league games we have left.”

Blues remained fifth in the League Two table after the stalemate but are still six points behind third-placed Torquay with just three games to go.

A place in the play-offs therefore looms large but Sturrock was encouraged by Southend’s display against the promotion-pushing Gulls.

“Torquay are a very good side and they’ve done brilliantly to get in to such a good position, but I thought we actually had the better chances,” said Sturrock.