SOUTHEND United manager Chris Powell urged his players to keep their heads high despite admitting this afternoon’s 2-2 draw at Blackpool felt more like a defeat.

An injury time own goal from Taylor Moore saw the Shrimpers having to settle for a share of the spoils at Bloomfield Road.

But Powell was still keen to remain upbeat.

“We’ll keep our heads high because I think we should and we have to remain positive,” said the Blues boss.

“I have to applaud my players but we’re hugely disappointed and it feels like a defeat to be honest.

“It’s an unfortunate own goal and we should’ve seen it out but we have to make sure we go and back this point up now.

“We withstood everything that was thrown at us and everything that was going on and we should have spoilt the party completely.

“On reflection we should be going back home with three points and it hurts.”

But Powell was pleased to see fit-again defenders Rob Kiernan and Harry Lennon back in action after long injury lay offs.

“There were loads of positives,” said Powell.

“Rob has been out 19 months and I just had a feeling for him to come in.

“I need these boys to contribute and I thought Harry Lennon was fantastic too.”

The 14th placed Shrimpers are now just three points above the relegation zone.

But Blues could have moved further clear of the drop zone had Simon Cox converted an early opportunity to make it 3-1 in the closing stages.

"Coxy’s chance was another crucial moment,” said Powell.

“You fancy him to score but maybe you have to give credit to the keeper for the save.”