Frustrating and just not good enough, not by a long way.
In my opinion, only Flahavan, Clarke, Foran and Hunt can come away from tonights match with any real credit.
Steve Hammell may not be the best defender I have seen at this level, but anyone who believes Che Wilson could do as good a job will have seen tonight that he can't and is out of his depth in the Championship. That is a debate that can certainly be put to bed now.
Another player who simply cannot hack it at this level also is Lee Bradbury. What does he bring to the side? He has no pace whatsoever meaning any through ball to him is absolutely hopeless. In the air he hardly wins a thing and he can't hold a ball up for more than one touch before giving it away.
I thought Freddy put in a lot of effort tonight, but he gets frustrated from having absolutely naff all to feed off. Last season Eastwood had Goater to feed off, now he has this fat lump Bradbury. An Oxford side struggling in League Two last season gave up on him as a striker - so how can it even be comtemplated that he can hack it at this level?
Matt Harrold may not be the perfect answer, but he lacks no effort and puts himself about, that can count for a fair bit in this division.
With McCormack out of the side, we needed Kevin Maher, as captain and the more experienced central midfield player, to add that crucial bite in the middle - certainly as we know that it'll never come from Mark Gower. It didn't come, and I suppose I was naive for even hoping it might. In the final minute a Palace player stood and headed a ball clear whilst Maher, more than in range stood and watched him do so, without the hint of a challenge. I know some people will think I'm mad, but we really would be better off without this guy as a regular in our team, but what are the options?
Gower was just Gower, and he hasn't proved himself at all this season, but again where are the options? unfortunately, I feel we have been left very short in midfield. Far too short.
We had plenty of possession tonight, but not enough bite all over the midfield. Why do we need one player - Alan McCormack - to inject this into our side? Do the rest of the side have it within them to lift themselves without him? It seems not, and that's just not good enough.
Palace were poor, we can't hide from that. We had a great chance for a home win to give us a good shout of staying in this League, but we were pathetic.
No passion, no bite. No points.
More of that and we have no chance.
I think this is a major over-reaction. Gower & Bradbury have proven themselves over the season yet according to you neither are good enough. Bradders link-up play and ability to hold up the ball is top quality. I'd like to see Foran given a chance up front too, but Bradbury has done a good job there.
Gower doesn't need defending. His quality is there to see.
Hunt, Sodje & Wilson were the only Southend players to really suffer last night, IMO. Che is short of match fitness and Palace was the worst game he could have come in for as Peter Taylor knows us inside out and had his team throw everything down their right, especially in the first half. Hunt had a 'mare.
Performance-wise I thought we were ok. Definately the better side up until they scored, although after the changes it all got very, very s****py. Foran was quality, Gower & Maher worked well in the middle and some of the link-up play from the very fluid group of Gower, Foran, Bradbury and Eastwood was a joy to watch. But we lacked real penetration and after we'd missed a couple of decent chances I felt for sure that it wasn't going to be our night.
Palace looked very ordinary and what makes this all the more disappointing is that we could have got three points here, but we didn't. We're all gutted but winning last night wouldn't have meant that we were staying up and losing doesn't put us down. We need five points minimum now from Wednesday, Leicester & Ipswich then lets see where we are.