Former Pompey skipper Sol Campbell has vowed to change the mindset of his ‘coasting’ Southend players after he suffered defeat in his first game as boss.
Ipswich ensured they went back to the top of League One courtesy of a 3-1 triumph at Roots Hall on Saturday.
It was not the start Campbell, who captained the Blues to FA Cup glory in 2008, would have hoped for.
Striker James Norwood netted in each half while Kayden Jackson also struck after the restart as the Tractor Boys recorded a ninth league win of the campaign.
Substitute Emile Acquah grabbed a consolation seven minutes from time for Southend, who saw Rob Kiernan’s early header ruled out for offside prior to Norwood’s eighth-minute opener.
Southend find themselves eight points adrift of safety in 22nd just 15 games into the season.
It’s a predicament Campbell is looking to get them out of.
And the former Pompey captain is looking to change the ‘coasting’ feel that currently surrounds the club.
He told BBC Essex: ‘I don't think any of the players have been stretched properly for a very long time.
‘This club has to turn around - it's been coasting a little bit, player-wise, for a while and I've seen that and I will change that.
‘We've got to get a little bit fitter individually, as a team as well, and then we'll be able to do a lot more and cause problems at the other end as well
‘It's going to be a little bit difficult for them in the beginning because probably they've not been used to that type of regime.
‘We will push them all the way so they can realise how far they can go as footballers.’
Phil Parkinson confessed his ‘concern’ as Sunderland suffered a fourth League One defeat of the season at Shrewsbury on Saturday.
But the Black Cats boss insisted should they continue to replicate the performance shown against the Shrews the wins will follow.
Jason Cummings’ goal on 22 minutes proved the difference as Sam Ricketts’ men took all three points at New Meadow.
It means Parkinson has lost two of his three matches in charge since being appointed to replace Jack Ross earlier this month.
But the former Bolton manager was not too downbeat after falling to defeat at Shrewsbury.
He told the Sunderland Echo: ‘It is concerning but the manner of the way we played on Saturday was good.
‘It wasn’t a performance were you say we were second best or we weren’t right up for the game or didn’t implement a plan - we did all of those things but we just couldn’t score.
‘Without doubt if we keep playing like that we will win a lot of games at this level.
‘The last two games we have created chances we have looked threatening, keep playing like that we will win a lot of games, I’m sure.’
Other results: Accrington 0-1 Gillingham, Burton 0-0 Blackpool, Fleetwood 1-0 MK Dons, Oxford 3-0 Rochdale, Peterborough 2-2 Coventry, Rotherham 0-1 Wycombe.