SOUTHEND United manager Phil Brown was left questioning the character of his side following this afternoon’s 3-1 defeat at Halifax Town.

The Shrimpers have now failed to win in their last four outings.

And Brown feels his players are lacking in fighting spirit.

“For six games at the end of last season people were laying gloves on us but we stood up to it,” said Brown.

“We haven’t got that strength of character that stands up to that glove being put on us.

“They’re letting down the support, they’re letting down themselves, their families, me and the chairman, everyone connected with the club.

“It cannot go on and it has to stop now.”

Blues have taken five points from their opening five games.

But Brown believes changes are needed if things are to improve.

“The way to stop it is change of personnel and by bringing in horrible players who can do the things I’m asking them to do,” said the Blues boss.

“This is nothing to do with systems or fancy football.

“It’s about character and having heart.

“If you haven’t got the heart for the fight then we’re going to struggle.”

But Brown is keen for some of his current squad to leave.

“I don’t like saying it about individuals and I won’t say who to you guys but there are one or two in there that I need to get rid of,” said Brown.

“I’ve said it to them too.”

However, Brown felt the game could have gone differently had Rhys Murphy taken an early opportunity.

“We came here with a game plan and within five minutes it should have been 1-0 to us,” said Brown.

“The striker we brought in missed a chance at the back post.

“If we go a goal up it might be a different game.”

But the Shrimpers rarely threatened and Brown can sympathise with the frustration of the supporters.

“I went to over to one of the biggest fans in the stand and I said to him I was embarrassed,” said Brown.

“I’m embarrassed for him and I’m embarrassed for myself, the chairman and the club.

“I’m bitterly disappointed.”