BRISTOL Rovers boss Graham Coughlan felt his side made their 2-1 win at Southend United ‘tougher than it needed to be.’

First half goals from Liam Sercombe and Gavin Reilly secured all three points for the Pirates, whose victory pushed them out of the relegation zone.

And Coughlan, who spent eight years with the Shrimpers prior to joining Rovers in the summer, was thrilled with the display.

“I was delighted with the character, the spirit and the determination,” said Coughlan.

“I’m delighted with the effort and the will to win too.

“Now I could stand here and argue about the quality, the missed chances and the goal against because we made it a lot tougher than it needed to be but it’s the area of the table we’re in.

“But the boys are flying and it’s great to be around them at the moment.”

The Pirates are now 20th in the table and have not been beaten in their last five away games.

But Coughlan is confident Rovers will continue to work their way up the table.

“We’ve been OK away from home, it’s at home where we’ve had issues,” said Coughlan.

“But we stuck to the game-plan really well and there’s a lot of positivity in that changing room at the moment.

“It is going to be tight but if we can get that consistency and get those levels and standards week in, week out then I don’t think we will have any problems.

“I have been confident that we can climb the table from day one of coming in.

“We haven’t quite managed it but we are positive at this moment in time and need to keep it going.”