SOUTHEND United manager Sol Campbell praised the professionalism of his players after the Shrimpers ended a turbulent week with a point against Tranmere Rovers.

The build up to Saturday’s game at Roots Hall had been overshadowed by sections of Blues’ squad not picking up their December wage packets until the situation was finally sorted on Friday afternoon.

And Campbell was happy with how the second from bottom Shrimpers brushed aside their difficult build up to draw 0-0.

“It’s commendable how the lads stuck to the task and I’ve thanked them for their professionalism,” said the former England international.

“It’s been difficult but the lads prepared really well and were very focused.

“I was honest and open about what I felt like they should be doing with regards to training and representing the club.

“But they really did put in a great shift.”

That resulted in the Shrimpers keeping just their second clean sheet of the season and their first at Roots Hall since shutting out Gillingham on New Year’s Day 2019. And Campbell was pleased to secure his first shut-out as Blues boss.

“It was a tough game and we defended really well,” said Campbell, who took over in October.

“We were very solid in all aspects of the game and it was just the last third when we needed to take more care of risks.

“We had a couple of chances but we didn’t take them. However, we’ve got a clean sheet which hasn’t happened for a long time and it’s something for us to build on.”

And Campbell also feels progress is being made.

“From where I started to where we are now it’s a different place,” said Campbell.

“It’s not a different planet yet but the guys are fitter and stronger.”