A DISGUSTED Phil Brown slammed his Southend United side as ‘dishonest’ following Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Bristol Rovers.

A dire first half display saw the Shrimpers’ winless streak extend to three matches.

And Brown is now unsure whether Blues have what it takes to make the play-offs.

“I’m shocked by the performance and I was disgusted with my team in the first half,” fumed the 57-year-old.

“You saw an honest performance from the opposition and you saw a dishonest performance from my team.

“I need to iron out that dishonesty in the DNA of the changing room through making changes or moving people on.

“Can we still make the play-offs? Not a chance. We haven’t got a chance with that kind of performance.”

Defeat at the Memorial Stadium kept the seventh placed Shrimpers four points below the play-off positions but they have now played a game more than sixth placed Millwall.

And Brown feels his side could be scared of winning promotion to the Championship.

“There’s a fear of getting promoted in there,” said Brown.

“One or two are looking at contracts and thinking they might not get offered them and because of that there’s a fear factor.

“What I witnessed out there is not a team hunting promotion it was a team that’s happy to be in this division and that’s not the mentality I want.”

Brown attempted to improve the Shrimpers by making a double substitution after just 38 minutes as both Nile Ranger and Stephen McLaughlin entered the action.

And the return to fitness of the attacking talents was one of very few positives for Brown.

“After the way we started I had to make changes after 35 minutes or so and the only positive I can take is that I got 60/65 minutes out of Nile Ranger and Stephen McLaughlin which was a pleasant surprise,” said Brown.

“It was a great first half performance from them but we allowed them to play.

“Did their two strikers work harder than ours? Yes. Was that the cause of the problem in the first half? Probably.

“We didn’t put our bodies on the line or put our heads in and get in their faces.

“We didn’t do the hard work or the graft that’s going to get any team a win and that can’t happen again at Coventry on Tuesday.

“It’s all about winning there now and that’s all I’m thinking about right now.”