Southend United manager Phil Brown has targeted new signings to arrest his side's current slump in form.
The League Two club were
beaten 1-0 by Scunthorpe last Saturday
to take their losing streak to four matches.
Football's fine margins
Southend's five single-goal losses this season:
- Scunthorpe (H) - 0-1 (League Two)
- Wycombe (A) - 1-2 (League Two)
- Chesterfield (A) - 1-2 (League Two)
- Yeovil (H) - 0-1 (League Cup)
"I want one or two proper characters in the squad because at the moment there just aren't enough," he told
"These lads not only don't seem to know how to manage the game at key moments but also aren't stepping up and showing some courage when it gets tough."
The Shrimpers started the season in superb fashion, winning their first three league games without conceding a goal.
Since then, aside from the
3-1 home defeat by Morecambe,
each loss has been by a single goal.
"The other teams' nous kicks in and they squeeze out three points in what is a brutal division, but we don't seem to know how," Brown added.
"It's a lack of intelligence to manage the game correctly and a lack of courage to just get hold of the ball. The players need to grow up fast."