DANIEL Webb insists he is saddened by Southend United’s plight.

The former Shrimpers striker, who also grew up in Southend, was back at Roots Hall as Chesterfield’s assistant manager on Saturday.

And, despite his delight at the Spireites securing a 4-0 win, Webb fears for the future of his home-town club.

“It’s sad to see how much anger there is in people,” said Webb.

“Even behind our dug-out there were clearly some life-long supporters looking so angry.

“It’s such a shame to see because people should be coming to football and it’s their release.

“But it’s not that at all for Southend fans at the moment and it’s such a shame.

“They’re paying good money to turn up and not be happy.

“It happens at clubs but right now the focus is on Southend because they’re a big club who have gone down and it looks like they could go again.”

Southend, who have suffered back to back relegations, sit 20th in the National League standings after another poor start to the season.

And Blues’ situation reminds Webb of his spell in the backroom team at Leyton Orient when the O’s also fell out of the Football League.

“I actually thought Southend had quite a bright start on Saturday but once we scored the whole ground turned a little bit but that’s what happens,” said Webb.

“We had a similar situation when I was at Orient years ago with Becchetti in charge.

“There’s a big dark cloud and once fans turn it’s hard to get them back.

“It takes some doing.

“What can turn fans around are results but they haven’t been getting them.

“I really hope it turns around but if it doesn’t they will find themselves in trouble.”

Blues opted to part company with manager Phil Brown following Saturday’s defeat.

And Webb, the son of legendary former Shrimpers boss David, feels Brown’s replacement will be taking on a huge task.

“It’s a big job and the biggest part is trying to get the supporters smiling,” said Webb.

“From what I saw on Saturday they seem to have made their mind up on the hierarchy and that’s their opinion.

“Any manager coming in now needs to bring in some dynamism, some attacking football and something for the fans to get excited about.

“What I saw was anger and if you’re a player, a coach or a manager you want to get people off their seats in a good way.

“But sadly they’re doing it in a bad way right now.”

And Webb believes avoiding a third successive relegation must now be Blues’ main goal.

“If you’re a Southend fan right now, aside from the ownership issues, all you’ll be thinking about is trying to stay in this league, “said the 38-year-old.

“Stockport went down from this league, Boston and York have done too so it can happen.

“No club is too big to go down and proper, proper go.

“I don’t think it will come to that and I certainly hope it doesn’t.”

Webb made 39 appearances for the Shrimpers at the start of his career.

And he continues to keep tabs on his former side.

“I look at Southend news all the time,” said Webb.

“We came down on the Friday for the game and stayed at the Palace hotel which my mate from school dad’s used to own back in the day.

“I think I was boring all the staff about my Southend stories and where I went to school!

“I have real fondness of the area but you get to the ground and it feels the same as it did 20 years ago.

“It’s tired and it’s important now whoever comes in gives the place a bit of life on and off the pitch.

“Everyone is down and they have every right to be because they’ve had nothing to cheer about.

“It’s going to be tough for the next manager but the chance they’ve got is that Southend are only 10 games into their season so there are plenty of matches still to be played.”