Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting ECHONEWS to 80360, or email us »
Southend United's Paul Sturrock: We did not deserve defeat to Burton Albion
SOUTHEND United manager Paul Sturrock felt his side deserved at least a share of the spoils against Burton Albion last night.
Blues suffered a 1-0 defeat after conceding a last gasp free kick from Brewers midfielder Jacques Maghoma.
But Sturrock was full of praise for his team after they battled for 79 minutes with just 10 men after midfielder John Spicer was sent off.
“Football is a cruel game and that was certainly the case here,” said Sturrock.
“We looked a very competent side with 10 men and the players rolled their sleeves up and gave everything they had.
“It was a huge kick in the teeth at the end of the game and everyone’s heads are down at the moment, as they didn’t deserve that in the end.
“We should have got something from the match and the way it went I could’ve only seen one winner if it had stayed 11 against 11.”
However, Southend were facing a huge uphill task from the moment Spicer was dismissed for a poorly timed tackle on former Blues striker Matt Paterson.
And Sturrock claimed the midfielder should not have made the challenge.
“He had his back to me so I couldn’t see how high he raised his legs but you can’t make tackles like that in the modern game now,” said Sturrock.
“He should have stayed up on his feet.”
Spicer’s subsequent three match ban adds to Blues’ selection woes with Barry Corr midway through his own suspension.
Mark Phillips, Gavin Tomlin and Neil Harris are also out with injuries whilst Ryan Leonard added to that list after he pulled up ahead of Tuesday’s match.
“Ryan pulled a hamstring in the warm-up,” confirmed Sturrock.
“He would have definitely played a part against Burton with his long throws and we could have done with his general play in midfield.
“But I am very hopeful that some of the injured players we have at the moment will be able to play a part on Saturday.”
And goalkeeper Paul Smith could also be set for a recall after only being named among the substitutes for last night’s defeat as Daniel Bentley continued between the sticks.
“Smith hasn’t had any training days at all with the concussion,” explained Sturrock
“He did one session on Monday but I felt he needed to build himself back up again.
“However, Paul will be our number one goalie even though Daniel has done a fantastic job.”