Colchester boss Aidy Boothroyd labelled his side's 3-3 home draw with Brentford as "mediocre" after they were forced to come from behind twice to claim a point.
David Hunt and Leon Legge put Brentford in control before the promotion-chasing U's hit back through Hunt's own goal and Anthony Wordsworth's strike before the break. Brentford restored their lead 12 minutes into the second half through Charlie MacDonald, but David Prutton netted 14 minutes from time to salvage a point for Boothroyd's men.
"It's a mediocre result for us because we've conceded too many goals," said Boothroyd. "We've conceded from a set-piece and we had only done that once all season. But it's a steep learning curve and with that comes pressure."
Boothroyd added: "We're disappointed with the three daft goals we've conceded. It should have been a 3-0 home win for us and we didn't start playing until we were 2-0 down."
Southend boss Steve Tilson praised the "desire and commitment" of his players after they beat Walsall 3-0 to end a run of 12 games without victory and raise hopes of avoiding relegation.
A Franck Moussa double and a Scott Spencer header secured three precious points for the Shrimpers, with Saddlers defender Clayton McDonald sent off for a lunge on Anthony Grant.
"This was a massive result for us," said Tilson. "We all know that we face a huge task to get out of trouble but we have to keep believing we will survive. There are still plenty of points to play for and no one can doubt the desire and commitment of my players."
Southampton boss Alan Pardew felt some of his side were distracted by the prospect of playing at Wembley - in Sunday's Johnstone's Paint Trophy final - as they laboured to an unconvincing 3-2 home win over relegation-threatened Hartlepool.
"The result pleased me more than anything because we took our eye off the ball," said Pardew.
"It is a big game Sunday and as much as we tried to get it out of our minds some of the younger lads didn't. The ones who have been there and done it pulled us through but some of the younger ones delivered 10% less and it was enough to put in a performance that was disjointed. There were a lot of errors."
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