SOUTHEND United manager Chris Powell felt the formation was not to blame for Blues’ 2-1 defeat to Bristol Rovers on Saturday.

The Shrimpers started in a 5-3-2 system against the Pirates before swapping to 4-4-2 at half-time.

But Powell felt there were other factors in the defeat.

“You make it work no matter what (formation) you’re playing,” said the Blues boss.

“You have an understanding of it but we didn’t make it work and to compound that we looked edgy.

“It’s down to players, their bravery and their decision making.

“That’s what it comes down to regardless of how and where you are on the field.”

Blues found themselves 2-0 down before Simon Cox got a goal back on the stroke of half-time.

But Powell opted to make two changes at the break with Michael Kightly and Stephen McLaughlin entering the action as the Shrimpers swapped to 4-4-2.

“We needed a response and it wasn’t working full stop, players and formation it wasn’t working,” explained Powell.

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

“There was a lack of application to deal with difficult opposition.

“If you do that and it’s 0-0 and you make your changes but our changes were enforced and I had to do it.