SOUTHEND United manager Chris Powell felt his side looked flat and rusty during tonight’s disappointing 2-0 defeat to Portsmouth in the Checkatrade Trophy.

Blues rarely troubled the Hampshire side at Roots Hall.

And Powell did not hide his disappointment at the end of the game.

“It was the worst possible start and we looked flat,” said the Shrimpers boss.

“We looked rusty and couldn’t build up any true momentum in the game.

“We had the odd flash here and there but it was very tough.

“Portsmouth competed very well physically and it was hard for us to do anything in the first half.

“They punished us again in injury time and, after that we huffed puffed, but it was flat.

“We looked flat and the quality was poor.

“There’s no excuses from me and we need a response on Saturday against Plymouth now.”