SOUTHEND United manager Kevin Bond felt Sam Hart was in need of a rest ahead of the Shrimpers' trip to Rochdale.

The on loan Blackburn Rovers left-back was surprisingly selected among the substitutes for the Shrimpers' 1-0 defeat at Spotland as Bond handed Stephen Hendrie his first start since January.

And Bond felt he needed a more defensive full-back in the side.

"Sam wasn't injured but he's had a lot of games and I just felt as though he would benefit from a bit of a rest," said the 61-year-old Shrimpers chief.

"I also thought we needed someone a bit more defensive minded in that role at Rochdale and I thought Stephen Hendrie did well to be fair to him."

Hart had started the previous 17 matches for Blues and was voted the club's player of the month for March.

However, Bond opted to leave the defender on the bench at Rochdale in a move which was criticised by large sections of the club's supporters.