Sol Campbell admitted “the clock is ticking” after his relegation-haunted Southend were thumped 4-1 at Portsmouth.
Campbell is still waiting for his first point as Shrimpers manager after Ellis Harrison’s double inspired Pompey to a comfortable Sky Bet League One victory at Fratton Park.
Former England defender Campbell, whose side are eight points adrift of survival, said: “We have to keep going.
“It’s a 4-1 but it doesn’t feel like a 4-1 because we basically gave them three goals. We will get there and we won’t come across Ipswich, Sunderland and Portsmouth again in the space of 10 days.
“It will come together but the clock is ticking and we have to start picking up points.
“It’s hard and we’ve had a tough three games – Ipswich, Sunderland and Portsmouth.
“They have Premier League pedigree and their budgets are probably quadruple ours. We aren’t expected to win these games.
“We kept them bay and did really well in the first half until the last 30 seconds when we haven’t gone with the runner from a simple ball in.
“We’ve given the goals away. It’s down to basic errors we have to iron out. It’s not as though they’ve carved us open.”
Southend were in the game until John Marquis opened the scoring in first-half stoppage time, ghosting in to turn home Brandon Haunstrup’s whipped cross from close range.
Harrison doubled the hosts’ lead five minutes into the second half, crashing home off the underside of the crossbar, while home midfielder Tom Naylor also saw his 30-yard shot rebound off the post as the floodgates threatened to open.
Brandon Goodship gave Southend hope of launching a late comeback when his long-range shot proved too hot to handle for stand-in Pompey goalkeeper Alex Bass.
But Harrison restored Pompey’s two-goal cushion from the penalty spot 10 minutes from time after Sean Raggett had been brought down by Rob Kiernan and a powerful shot from substitute Marcus Harness wrapped up the win four minutes later.
Portsmouth assistant manager Joe Gallen said: “After the first goal it lifted a lot of tension in the ground just before half-time.
“People say it’s a good time to score, but there’s never a bad time to score, let’s be honest. It was a good goal.
“You could see in the second half the tension had been lifted a little and, going towards our home fans, we played some good stuff and created a lot of chances.
“I’m pleased to say that we took those chances, enough for us to get a 4-1 win.
“I thought overall we deserved it and played pretty well at times and so it’s onto the next, we need to get on a run.”