Phil Brown ripped into his players and blasted: We think we’re better than we are.
Brown gave an angry assessment of his team’s display as Southend slipped to a 1-0 loss to Pompey.
It was their first loss to the Blues in six meetings, and the first game the Shrimpers had lost in November for eight years.
Brown didn’t hold back when delivering his view on how his players performed.
He told southendunited.co.uk: ‘Overall we didn’t do enough in the final third, overall not good enough, overall we think we’re better than what we are.
‘We need a reality check, quite a few of them, and that reality check will come by not playing for us, it’s as simple as that.
‘I was disappointed the fact that we didn’t go 1-0 up.
‘Fair enough, we missed a penalty; was it a penalty? I don’t know.
‘But (we were) playing well enough in the first half to go ahead in the game.
‘Having said that, we didn’t stop crosses coming into our box and eventually, if you don’t stop crosses you’ll pay for it and we did.
‘First-half compared to the second half, we didn’t have enough quality in the second half, we had plenty in the first half but we didn’t put the ball in the back of the net.’
Brown was also adamant referee Carl Boyeson should have dished out a red card after Matt Clarke was controversially penalised in the first half.
He said: ‘It looked like a great save on the line, but it happens so quickly I couldn’t see whether it was the first block or the second block that he’s given the handball for.
‘If he gives a handball for making a save going towards the goal, it’s a sending off.
‘If the referee’s brave enough and the linesman’s brave enough to give a penalty in front of 18,000 screaming fans, then well played but you’ve got to follow it up with a red card.
‘He doesn’t give a red card, he doesn’t give a card.
‘If it is a penalty, if it is a handball, if it is stopping or denying a goal-scoring opportunity, then it’s a sending-off offence.’