I’VE always quite liked my job.

You see, Southend United isn’t just a team I write about.

It’s my team.

Since the age of seven when my dad first took me along to Roots Hall, I have been fixated by the trials and tribulations of the Shrimpers.

And that has always been why reporting on Blues has seemed so special.

Sure, the hours are incredibly long and unsociable and I won’t be able to retire anytime soon.

But there was nothing else I would rather do, until now.

Suddenly everything that had once seemed a pleasure now seems a chore.

And, to be honest, for the first time in 30 years, I don’t really want to go and watch anymore.

Ian Darke commentated on the Shrimpers’ latest defeat on Sunday and described the current campaign as the season from hell.

He was completely correct.

Blues have triumphed just once in 17 League games, taking five points from a possible 51.

But the damning statistics do not stop there.

The Shrimpers have kept just one clean sheet since January, have not won at home since May and have already conceded an unbelievable 48 League goals.

Right now, Blues have picked up fewer points than any other team in the top four divisions and have also conceded more goals than anyone else too.

And, just when you felt things couldn’t get any worse, along came Sunday’s FA Cup defeat at the hands of Dover Athletic who are currently mid-table in the National League.

The majority of Blues’ fans are a patient bunch and quite frankly they deserve a medal for the way they have backed the team this term.

But for the first time on Sunday they really vented their fury at the players and, in truth, you couldn’t really blame them.

For, since the departure of Phil Brown in January 2018, the Shrimpers have tried a succession of managers with Chris Powell, Ricky Duncan, Kevin Bond, Gary Waddock and Sol Campbell all having spells in charge.

Yet, so far, none of them have been able to stop the rot.

Quite how the Shrimpers have got themselves into such a sorry state is down to a combination of factors.

But top of the pile has to be poor recruitment as Blues have brought in ageing players and others with appalling injury records who are far inferior to those who have been allowed to leave.

Off the field, the Shrimpers are also lacking the infrastructure to succeed and the absence of a chief executive has hit the club hard.

A deep-rooted malaise has set in at Roots Hall and, perhaps most worryingly, there is no quick fix.

And new boss Campbell must now be realising the huge task he has on his hands for the squad he has inherited lacks quality, confidence, fight, leadership and running power.

Relegation now seems a foregone conclusion with the Shrimpers already eight points from safety with a far inferior goal difference to their fellow strugglers around them.

Subsequently, many supporters regard the current squad as the worst in the club’s 113-year history and right now it is hard to argue otherwise.

More tough times lie in wait and the only slight positive at this stage is that the Shrimpers face just one proper game in the space of 27 days – because I think we all need a break right now.