SOUTHEND United defender Jason Demetriou felt failure to deal with the gritty side of the game led to Saturday’s shock 1-0 defeat at Yeovil Town.

A first half penalty from Otis Khan saw the League Two Glovers triumph at Huish Park.

And Demetriou cut a disappointed figure at the final whistle.

“It’s the players’ fault and we know that,” said the 29-year-old.

“It’s not nice but we need to do the gritty side of the game and then look to play our football after that instead of just doing that from the off.

“Sometimes you just can’t do that and it’s disappointing.

“We just didn’t seem to turn up in the first half.

“In the second half I thought we were the only team in it to be honest but sometimes when you go a goal behind it’s hard to get one back and that proved to be the case here.”

The Shrimpers stepped things up in the second half with Simon Cox, Stephen McLaughlin and Demetriou himself all going close to scoring an equaliser.

But the right-back does not want the setback to affect Blues’ League form.

“We feel as though we’ve turned things around in the League, we’re not far off the top six and we have to keep that going,” said Demetriou.

“We’ve had two cleared off the line and I was right next to one of them . I still have no idea how he kept it out but it just wasn’t our day I guess.

“I also thought the Coxy goal which was disallowed looked clear but the referee was a bit soft.

“It’s a poor result for us as a team but these things can happen in the FA Cup and we have to try and make sure we forget about it by doing well in the league.”

The Shrimpers are currently 11th in the League One standings, two points below the play-off positions.

However, Phil Brown’s side are now without a League game until Saturday November 18 when they head to Portsmouth.

And that means Demetriou will now be part of the Cyprus squad for two friendlies in quick succession against Armenia and Georgia.

“I did initially ask to stay here because we had an important league game with Oldham to be played,” said Demetriou.

“But now that’s been called off because of their international call ups it does look like I’ll be going.”

As a result, Demetriou - who has now won more international caps at Southend than any other player in the club’s history - will miss tomorrow’s local derby against Colchester United in the Checkatrade Trophy.