SOUTHEND United manager Phil Brown was again left ruing ‘ a fundamental flaw’ in his side’s character following tonight’s shocking 3-2 defeat against Aldershot Town.

Shots ended a run of five successive defeats to record their first win of the season at Roots Hall.

And Brown was disappointed with how Blues reacted to conceding an equaliser in the first half.

“That basic fundamental flaw in our character whenever anyone lays a glove on us, we’ve got to get rid of,” said Brown.

“When the first goal went in and we took the lead I thought confidence levels would be raised and people would start expressing themselves.

“But we conceded a goal and again we go the other way in terms of motivation and the spirit that we showed.

“We go in level at half-time and the message to everyone was to get on the ball and to express themselves a bit more.”

But it was Aldershot who got on top after the break and soon took the lead after poor defensive play from the Shrimpers.

“The second goal goes in down the side of Josh Coulson and it’s an unforgiveable goal,” said the Blues boss.

“But am I going to stand here and slag the players off? No. “ However, Brown did feel the level of performance was not good enough for the club’s loyal supporters.

“The bottom line is that you’re looking at a group of players who have let the supporters down, myself included,” said Brown.

“I’m not going to blame the players, it includes me too.

“I changed the system and put players in the right positions and coming into the game I was confident we would create chances.”

But the Shrimpers rarely threatened against Shots and Brown fully understood the frustration of the supporters.

“The supporters have every right to be saying what they’re saying and doing what they’re doing, 100 per cent,” said Brown.

“The fans got behind the team in the first half but they got frustrated in the second.

“The reason for that frustration is the two or three years that we’ve had.

“I’m now firmly involved and I’m firmly responsible for tonight’s performance.

“It has to change and it has to change drastically.”

And Brown is keen to get back to the spirit he felt the Shrimpers showed towards the end of last season.

“The way we addressed the final six games of last season in a League Two campaign has got to be the way we address this season,” said Brown.

“We’ve got that target on our backs and we’ve got to accept we’re a big club in a small division supposedly.

“We’re going to be fired at and we have to have the character to stand up to that, then play the football that we can play.”

Blues now sit 16th in the National League standings with five points from six games.

But Brown is not focusing on the table at this stage.

“I’m not bothered about league positions at the moment, I’m bothered about the character of the team,” said Brown.

“And the character of the team was found to be wanting to be brutally honest.

“We’ve got to go back to basics and go back to what made us as spirited team at the end of last season.

“Everyone seems to be doing that against us and we’ve got to match that.

“Whether we’ve got the character in the dressing room to do that I’ve got to find it.

“If that means bringing players in and getting rid of players then I’ve got to try and find that as well.”

And Brown also confirmed he was close to adding to his squad, “We’re close to one or two,” he added.