SOUTHEND United manager Chris Powell has held talks with Jason Demetriou after the right-back’s bizarre red card while on international duty with Cyprus.

Demetriou was dismissed for a shocking challenge nowhere near the ball in the closing stages of a 1-1 draw in Slovenia.

And Powell spoke with the 30-year-old - who has already been booked five times for the Shrimpers this season - on his return to training.

“We’ve had a chat, he came to me and he beat me to it actually,” said the Blues boss.

“JD is very competitive and he doesn’t like losing or being beaten and that’s a good thing to have. He’s had five bookings and we don’t want that to continue.”

Demetriou has been fortunate to avoid red cards on three occasions for the Shrimpers this season and only Sunderland midfielder Lee Cattermole has been cautioned more in League One this term.

But Powell feels it is necessary for the defender to get stuck in.

“Being a full-back there are times you may just slightly get your tackle wrong but you have to compete,” said the 49-year-old.

“I suppose he will be suspended for the next Nations League game so that means he will be available for us and that’s the silver lining there.

“It’s not great, he’s captain and he enjoys playing for Cyprus but let him deal with that with his international career and we’ll focus on his Southend United career.”

However, Powell did play the challenge - which has gone viral on social media - in front of the Shrimpers squad yesterday.

“I played it in front of the players and asked JD to explain himself which he couldn’t really do,” added Powell.