There were a lot of positives to take from the frustrating 1-0 loss at Barnsley at the weekend.

Blues sprang into life from the referee’s first whistle and we looked like we could have gone in at the break 2-0 up.

The travelling Seasiders were loud and proud throughout the first half and there was an air of optimism around the North Stand at Oakwell at half time.

For much of the first half, I forgot that we were missing so many key players through injury as we attacked the Barnsley defence.

Simon Cox and Harry Bunn in particular looked to force an opening with everything they had.

That said, there does seem to be something of a lack of confidence in the Southend camp at the moment.

In a number of attacks, our forwards seemed to want to walk the ball into the Barnsley net rather than try a shot and all this led to us being denied time after time.

Though all round more confident in the boys’ ability than the players, there was trepidation among us in the away stand any time a blue player went down.

When John White went down near the end of the first half, the tension was almost sickening as Ben Clarkson made his long run to the other side of the pitch.

But thankfully he was fine to continue and finish the game.

Despite our good performance, we are in a desperate place right now and we simply cannot afford another injury.

When we came out for the second half, we looked like a different team and ended up losing 1-0 to a late goal.

We didn’t take anywhere near as many risks and barely pushed forward at all.

If this was Chris Powell trying to save a player getting injured - which wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing - then it’s imperative we spend in January if we want to push for promotion to the Championship, which I believe, even with all of the injuries, we can still achieve.

Hopefully we can use some of the money we’ll make when Sheffield United sell Ryan Leonard to Millwall for a club record fee in January.

In my view, the team lacks a clear leader.

We need someone who will command the players on the pitch as Powell does on the touchline.

With someone pushing the players forward, they may gain a bit of confidence and start converting the chances which are being created.

With the next two games being cup ties, against Crawley Town in the FA Cup and Southampton’s under 21 team in the Checkatrade Trophy, I feel this is a perfect opportunity for Powell to experiment with his team slightly and regain that confidence Blues desperately need.