LEON Imber has his say on the latest happenings at Roots Hall.

EIGHT months ago to this very day marks the last time Southend United kept a clean sheet in a competitive fixture.

It’s difficult to identify where exactly frailties of the Blues defence stem from but it is now such a problem that the other 21 teams above are drifting away.

Even to achieve safety seems a large mountain to climb for this underperforming Southend side.

There is shared responsibility on both manager and players.

The sacking of Kevin Bond gave fans hope for a change of form but the utterly gutless defending has prevented that from happening, and only the players can take the blame for that.

A positive to take would be Stephen Humphrys.

Having scored three goals in his last two appearances, he is a real threat up front.

It is vital that Humphrys stays fit for the struggling side this campaign.

With five goals already to his name, it is hard to see anyone but the 22 year old being the most influential player in the team this term.

With the options available offensively, it’s no suprise that goals are not too hard to come by.

It’s the goals that are going in at the other end that are halting Southend’s progress and it is a real concern.

It very much seems the case that anything we can do, the opposition can do better.

Tuesday night’s 4-3 defeat compounded Gary Waddock’s side to a third game this season in which three goals have been scored.

But leaking goals in their own end meant that they had yet to pick up three points in any of them.

Who would want to be Ron Martin right now?

With recent exploits in the transfer market and sacking of managers it’s obvious that the financial situation the club is in isn’t exactly desirable.

Therefore, you cannot blame Martin for looking at Gary Waddock as a cheaper option to take the reins at Roots Hall.

However, the next managerial appointment will be crucial for the future of the club, and a cheap, substandard appointment could really damage the club in its long term pursuit for a higher level of football.

But for whoever takes over, patience will be required by Blues fans.

Four wins in the last 30 league outings show that the side is stuck in a real rut and it won’t be easily resolved.