JASON Demetriou remains confident Southend United can beat the drop this season - despite being left gutted by Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Bolton Wanderers.

The 10th home setback of the season kept the 22nd placed Shrimpers just one point and one place above the relegation zone.

But Demetriou is convinced Mark Molesley’s side can still work their way out of trouble.

“We’re gutted and it’s a tough one to take but we can take confidence from the performance and if we keep working as hard as that we should be fine,” said the midfielder.

“People say that’s the luck you get when you’re down there and I actually felt like we were on top for most of the game.

“I don’t think they threatened us much and it’s tough to take.”

Blues ended up empty handed after Shaun Miller bagged the game’s only goal eight minutes from time after a misjudgement from goalkeeper Mark Oxley.

But Demetriou is desperate for the Shrimpers to react strongly.

“It’s a freak goal and it can kill you but we’ve got to crack on.

“We’ve got some tough games coming up and we have to make sure we’re on it, starting with Forest Green on Wednesday.”

However, Demetriou is fully aware Southend must improve going forward if they are to start picking up more points “We are being tough to beat but we have to be more cute in the final third,” said Demetriou.

“We have to shoot more and take care with that final pass.”

Demetriou came back into the team to take on the Trotters.

And the 33-year-old is certain the added competition for places will also boost Blues in their remaining matches.

“We’ve got numbers now and we can bring in fresh legs and fresh energy,” said Demetriou.

“We’ve got so many games and with that competition for places you have to play well to stay in.

“We had 27 or 28 boys training on Friday and there’s quality in there now too.

“We just have to keep on putting in the performances and I think we’ll be fine.”

The Shrimpers are next in action against high-flying Forest Green on Wednesday.

But Demetriou does not pay too much attention to the League table when taking on an opposing sides.

“I don’t think there’s much in this League at all if I’m honest,” said Demetriou.

“They’re a good side but if we keep compact and work hard we have a chance against anyone at this level.

“But we do need more shots on target to get the momentum in games.

“We’re nearly there and there’s a lot of positives.

“It’s gutting what’s happened here but we’re still confident we’ll be fine.”