SOUTHEND United manager Chris Powell felt Elvis Bwomono’s battling performance was the only highlight for the Shrimpers at Oxford United on Saturday.

Blues were seen off 2-0 by the U’s at the Kassam Stadium.

But Powell was full of praise for the 19-year-old right-back who entered the action as a first half substitute.

“The only thing I can be happy about is Elvis,” said the Blues boss.

“He led the way when he came on, so I’m pleased for that young man.

“He’s going to be a good player.”

Bwomono replaced the injured Ben Coker after just 25 minutes against Oxford in a switch which saw Jason Demetriou move to left-back for the remainder of the match.

And Bwomono, who came through the youth ranks at Roots Hall, was thrilled to get another opportunity to impress.

“Injuries are unfortunate and can happen at any time, so I made sure I was ready to come on and I was happy to get the chance to play,” said the youngster.

“I thought I did well with my defending and attacking but it was a disappointing result and we’re all frustrated.

“It’s a game we thought we could come and win but, unfortunately, we couldn’t take our chances when they came along.

“That puts pressure on the defence and we want and expect more from ourselves.”

Bwomono’s appearance off the bench made it 10 games for the season.

And the right-back is keen to make sure he keeps on improving.

“Of course I want to play more, every footballer does, but I know I’m young and that Jason Demetriou is having a great season,” said Bwomono.

“If he plays then I’ll watch and learn from him.

“I’ll train hard and work hard and be ready for my next chance.

“This is my breakthrough season and I’m pleased with how it’s gone.

“I’ve been on the bench a lot and you learn all the time, which is important.”

However, Bwomono would love to be given more games before the end of the season.

And he is eager to help the Shrimpers - who are currently 15th in the League One standings - end their season on a high.

“We still have four big games left and we have to be ready for the next one, which is MK Dons at home this weekend,” said Bwomono.

“It’s a big game and hopefully I’ll get another chance to play, but I’ll have to wait and see what happens.”