JUST as you thought it could not get any worse for Southend United, it did.

The struggling Shrimpers were easily brushed aside by a rampant Rochdale at Roots Hall on Saturday as their pointless start to the League One season extended to a sixth game.

And the latest defeat leaves boss Kevin Bond well and truly on the brink at Blues.

Now, I quite like my job.

Sure the hours are long and often unsociable and I certainly will not be retiring anytime soon.

But this is my team and my town and I have always loved being part of all things Shrimpers, up until the last few weeks at least.

For the first time in my 18 years of reporting on the club – I have not looked forward to heading to the training ground or the matches due to ongoing difficulties and the downbeat mood.

I’ve ended up going because I have to not because I want to and I am sure the hardcore supporters feel the same way.

A malaise has spread throughout the club and lessons have not been not learnt from last season.

The previous campaign saw Blues avoid relegation by the skin of their teeth and that should have acted as the biggest wake up call in the club’s recent history.

Everything should have immediately been put into place to narrow the chances of another season of struggle.

However, Blues seemed to meander their way through the summer, delaying the managerial appointment of Bond, pre-season friendlies and even the signings themselves.

That has now spread into the start of the campaign which has been nothing short of horrific.

The Shrimpers have kicked off a season with six successive defeats for the first time in their 113-year history and are now the only club in the country yet to pick up a point.

Furthermore, Blues have still not kept a clean sheet since January – a run of 26 competitive matches – and have already conceded 17 League goals this term.

Bond has taken the brunt of the criticism and deservedly so.

The 62-year-old has made some puzzling decisions this season – including starting Theo Robinson instead of Stephen Humphrys against Coventry City while also choosing Elvis Bwomono and Brandon Goodship out wide having brought in Layton Ndukwu on loan from Leicester City.

His substitutions at Wycombe Wanderers also raised eyebrows and brought pressure back onto a fragile defence which ultimately resulted in defeat while a constant changing of systems can also not be helping.

Bond’s man management much also be questioned, especially given the nature of his after-match interviews and it does appear he may be better suited as an assistant.

The 62-year-old came into the Shrimpers with plenty of experience as a coach but he had previously taken charge of just 97 games as a manager before coming to Roots Hall.

And, in truth, he may be out of his depth in the main role.

Bond has opted to openly criticise several of his players in the press and often stands motionless on the sidelines during the matches.

Now his part in keeping Blues up against all odds last season should not be forgotten and speak to staff at the training ground and they will also speak highly of his personality.

However, it is now inconceivable that Bond will still be in charge when the Shrimpers host Fleetwood Town for their next League outing in the middle of September.

Blues fans chanted loudly for his dismissal during Saturday’s defeat.

And even Paddy Power, the club’s official sponsors, have suspended betting on him being relieved of his duties.

But changing managers will not completely change the club’s fortunes because the players also have to look at themselves right now.

At present, Blues seem like a boxer with a glass chin with just one punch forcing them down onto the canvas.

Yet, delve a little deeper and the structure of the club also needs looking at as the ongoing absence of a chief executive cannot be helping the Shrimpers’ cause.

All of that cannot be sorted overnight and given the nature of football it will be the manager who leaves first.

In his place, Blues need a young, passionate manager who knows League One and is capable of motivating those around him.

Unlike recent appointments, it also needs to be the best name not the biggest.

But – given the start to the season – whoever does come in will already be facing an uphill challenge.