A DEJECTED Chris Powell felt his Southend United side looked ‘afraid, edgy and nervous’ during Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Bristol Rovers at Roots Hall.

A below par display from Blues saw them slump to their ninth home setback of the League One season so far.

And Powell thought the Shrimpers looked uneasy during another frustrating afternoon.

“We looked afraid and nervous and we shouldn’t be like that at home,” said the 49-year-old.

“The fans have every right to be unhappy and for us to be 2-0 down wasn’t good enough.

We need to be a whole lot better and I don’t know if we’re getting edgy at home.

“It’s understandable to a point but if you start on the front foot then the fans go with you.

“But people won’t accept the way we started the game and I won’t accept that either.”

Bristol Rovers raced into a two goal lead before Simon Cox netted for Blues on the stroke of half-time.

But the Shrimpers were unable to draw back level in the second half, despite Powell bringing on both Michael Kightly and Stephen McLaughlin at the break.

“I could’ve made changes way before half-time.,” said Powell.

“There’s a small crumb of comfort in the way we responded in the second half but we’ve been beaten at home again.

“This should be where we’re happiest and where we put teams under pressure but it seems to be the other way round with us at the moment and that’s not good enough.

“We want to be looking up the table but we’re looking down it.

“We have to rectify this now and I’ve told the players in no uncertain terms to recognise where we’re at.”

But Powell, whose side are 12th in the standings, felt starting with a 5-3-2 formation was not to blame for the defeat.

“You have to make it work, no matter what you’re playing,” said Powell.

“It’s down to players, their bravery and decision making. That’s what it comes down to regardless of where you are on the field.

“We needed a response because it wasn’t working.

“I could’ve changed any one of them but the damage was done.”