SOUTHEND United manager Phil Brown refused to blame Steve Arnold's absence on Blues' 3-1 defeat at Halifax Town.

Arnold was replaced between the sticks by Harry Seaden after dislocating a finger in training earlier this week.

But Brown felt the Shrimpers should have been able to deal with the setback. 

"It happened on Wednesday but something like that you have to deal with as a manager," said Brown.

"We signed Collin (Andeng-Ndi) in time for him to be on the bench and Harry Seaden deserves a chance where his career is concerned.

"Do I blame him for any of the goals? Probably not.

"Would I blame him for not having the character or experience of Steve Arnold? Absolutely but that’s life.

"That’s not any reason why we lost the game.

"The reason was the character of the team and that needs to strengthen now.

"That’s not gym work either, it’s about what’s under the shirt."