Paul Sturrock threatened to wield the axe after his Southend side slipped to a miserable 2-0 defeat at Paolo Di Canio's Swindon.

Goals either side of half-time from substitute Jonathan Smith and Algerian striker Mehdi Kerrouche condemned Southend to a one-sided loss.

Former Swindon boss Sturrock, who endured an unhappy return to the County Ground, said: "Some players will have played their last game for a very long time for Southend after that performance. It was very, very disappointing and sometimes you can win when eight players are on form and three perform badly, but here it was the other way around."

Sturrock added: "There's no thought process going on out there and that is why we have conceded four goals in our last two games. Swindon were hungrier and more professional and that is simply not acceptable."

Swindon dominated their opponents from start to finish and the scoreline could have been greater if Di Canio's men had shown more of a cutting edge.

Despite causing the Southend defence problems, particularly through winger Matt Ritchie, the only early clear-cut chance came from Kerrouche, who headed against the crossbar in the seventh minute.

Di Canio was quick to praise Smith and revealed he was confident that he had found a gem after watching videos of the midfielder playing on YouTube.

The Italian said: "He can really play and do his part. When you watch him play, he is always looking to attack and tracks the edge of the box. He really presses forward well. I'm not surprised that he scored. It was a fabulous strike and he is developing nicely."

The Robins boss also lauded the performance of midfielder Alan McCormack, who filled in as an emergency defender from the 15th minute when Oliver Risser was forced off with a knee injury.

Di Canio added: "I told McCormack to be ready on Friday because we had a slight concern about Oliver. He is really intelligent and won every ball that came his way. We were a little under pressure, but the desire of the players and Alan's reading of the game was excellent."

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Topics:
#Matt Ritchie
#Bristol City
#Swindon Town
#Southend United
#Alan McCormack
#League Two
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