SOUTHEND United’s wretched record on the road continued with a desperately disappointing 2-0 defeat at Oxford United.

The setback made it six away games in succession without success for the Shrimpers and continued what has become quite a common trend this season.

At home this term, Blues have been up there with the very best at League One level.

Six of the top eight teams have been beaten at Roots Hall while just one of the top 11 has returned home with a win.

As a result, the Shrimpers boast the fifth best home record in the League having taken 39 points from 21 games.

On top of that, Blues have the eighth best goalscoring record and are the fifth best defensively from games played by clubs at their own grounds.

However, Southend’s form on the road couldn’t be more different and is now the second worst in the entire division.

Blues have picked up just 14 points from 21 games and have been able to win just three times on their travels this term.

Only already relegated Bury have a worse away record this season but the damning statistics do not stop there.

The Shrimpers’ 14 goals away from home is the joint lowest in League One while Blues have the worst defensive record having conceded 41 goals.

As well as that, Southend have failed to score in five of their last six away games with Chris Powell in charge and have yet to score from open play on their travels since his appointment at the end of January.

That has also lengthened a startling run which has seen Blues go 18 away games without hitting the back of the net in the second half, a sequence which stretches back to September.

So it is abundantly clear just where the Shrimpers need to improve if they are to feature far higher up the table next term.

Blues boss Powell will therefore be desperately trying to find the right formula to turn things around.

And the Shrimpers chief would have been boosted by a spirited showing in his side’s previous outing away at Blackburn Rovers.

That afternoon, Blues were hard to break down against the promotion favourites and also posed a threat going forward in the closing stages where they were incredibly unfortunate not to secure a share of the spoils.

Powell therefore opted to go with the same system against Oxford as Simon Cox continued as a lone striker, a move which has been criticised by some for being negative.

However, Powell’s main mission is to make Blues more solid on the road.

And, although his side produced a lacklustre display at the weekend, there were still opportunities to have ensured the game had a different outcome.

Anthony Wordsworth wasted a fine chance to score in the first half before Dru Yearwood struck the post on the stroke of half-time.

Cox then failed to take two opportunities in the second half during what appeared to be a typical display from a side with very little left to play for this season.

Powell was keen to stress that was certainly not the case in the aftermath of Saturday’s setback and insisted he would not allow his side to coast through their final four fixtures.

The Blues boss was clearly frustrated at the final whistle as Oxford - who had not won in Karl Robinson’s first five games in charge - comfortably came out on top.

The result ended the Shrimpers’ recent domination against the U’s who had not beaten Blues in the previous 10 outings between the two teams.

But, Saturday’s contest was never really in doubt and would have posed more questions than answers for Powell.

The Shrimpers boss - who will be mainly judged on next season - will be demanding an immediate improvement.

And he will therefore be ecstatic that his side’s next game - against MK Dons - is being played at Roots Hall.