SOUTHEND United manager Phil Brown was forced to make a late change to his starting line-up at Exeter City after Tom Clifford was injured in the warm up.

Clifford had been due to start against the Grecians.

But Brown was forced to call upon Sam Hart after Clifford suffered a thigh problem.

“Tom had to pull out with a bit of a tight thigh,” said Brown.

“It was about 10 minutes before the start and he was umming and arring about it.

“It wasn’t a case of pulling out straight away and he wanted to play.

“He was having some treatment but it would have been too risky.”

However, Brown was impressed with how Hart performed in his place.

“I was more than impressed by Sam’s performance,” said Brown.

“From being on the bench to then go and do what he did was different class.

“Defensively he was outstanding and they were doubling up on him at the end too.

“His fitness was brilliant and he won his aerial battles too.

“Everything about him was something to admire.”