CHRIS Powell was a relieved man after seeing his Southend United side get back to winning ways against Fleetwood Town - just seven days after hitting ‘rock bottom’.

Simon Cox’s second half goal secured the Shrimpers a morale-boosting 1-0 victory at Roots Hall.

And Powell was thrilled to end a run of three successive League One setbacks which included a desperately disappointing 2-0 defeat at Shrewsbury Town last time out.

“I’m relieved to get the three points because it keeps us going in what is a tough League,” said the Shrimpers chief.

“It’s been tough for us recently but I have to say thank you to the players who have kept together and kept their belief.

“We’ve been playing well but you’re judged on results.

“We’ve been hurt by some last minute goals and at Shrewsbury we hit rock bottom for me but they’ve responded to it.

”They listened to me and the coaches and we pretty much went back to basics with our training and attitude to see if we could change our fortunes and thankfully we did.”

The hard-fought win saw Blues pick up their first League win since beating Bristol Rovers at the end of August.

And the victory came after Powell opted to change to a 5-3-2 formation which saw Jason Demetriou and Ben Coker lining up as wing-backs.

“It was a big call but that’s my job to make big calls,” said Powell.

“It was brave because we had three strikers on the pitch but it was the formation we felt would be best.

“We started working on in training on Thursday and we decided to go for it.

“We might use that formation again but we have more options again out wide now with Michael Kightly back from suspension and Harry Bunn should also be back from injury.

“But sometimes it isn’t about the system, it’s about your application and putting in a shift which they did.”

Bunn missed the Shrimpers’ triumph after picking up a foot problem in training on Friday.

But Blues were still able to grind out a win in a game which pleased Powell for a variety of reasons.

“I’m really happy to have got the clean sheet and it’s good for Simon to have got the goal too,” said the 49-year-old.

“I’m pleased for the supporters and that one was for them but we have to have to build on this now because we haven’t done anything yet other than stopping a bad run.”