Southend United 'no chance' of automatic promotion

Phil Brown
Phil Brown won promotion to the Premier League as Hull City manager in 2008

Southend United boss Phil Brown has written off his side's chances of automatic promotion from League Two.

The Shrimpers are six points adrift of third spot with nine games left after Wednesday's 2-1 loss at leaders Burton.

"If there's any pressure on these players, I'm taking it off them by saying we've got no chance of automatic promotion," Brown told BBC Essex.

"We were playing for automatic promotion before the game and at half-time. I think that's gone now."

Southend have endured two failed play-off attempts in the three previous seasons, losing to the Brewers in last year's semi-final and Crewe at the same stage in 2012.

League Two promotion chase
Top three clubs after 46 games win automatic promotion to League One
1Burton Albion372173
2Shrewsbury Town372668
3Wycombe Wanderers372068
5Southend United37962

"Our only way of getting among the promotion stakes this year is by the play-offs again, unfortunately," said Brown.

"We'll have to fight hard in the last nine games to get that."

Brown's side were leading 1-0 at the Pirelli Stadium, but Burton, with Robbie Weir sent off, managed to come from behind and scored an 89th-minute winner.

Five minutes earlier, Brown had brought on Jake Cassidy for Adam Thompson in an attempt to secure a late win for his side.

"I hold myself responsible for everything that has happened tonight," he said.

"I hold myself responsible for the final substitution, which I've used to win the game and we've ended up losing the game."

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