Phil Parkinson claimed he could "see the green shoots of recovery" despite Altrincham again conceding costly goals just before half time and suffering a fourth consecutive National League defeat at Southend United on Tuesday night.

Alty looked to be on course for a much-needed win when Chris Conn-Clarke gave them a fourth-minute lead with his 17th goal of the season, only for Southend to reply in the 40th and 45th minutes and see off an improved second-half performance from the Robins to secure a 2-1 win.

It dealt Alty's play-off hopes another telling blow, after a 3-1 home defeat to Maidenhead United on Saturday, but Parkinson insisted a top-seven finish was still on the cards, particularly with Saturday's trip to Dagenham & Redbridge being followed by three successive home games.

"I thought Southend were outstanding in the first half and we actually scored against the run of play," said the Alty boss. "I feared the worst at that point, especially after conceding twice just before half time, which has become a bit of an Achilles heel for us.

"But the gumption and resilience we showed to come back at them in the second half, after looking dead and buried, spoke volumes for us. We didn't roll over. We played our way, and I saw enough in that second half to see the green shoots of recovery.

"We have had a couple of weeks of mega away travel, and we've been thin on the ground, with players picking up knocks and injuries.

"But they will be coming back in the next week or two, and as long as we get our home form up and running and pick up some points on the road, we will be fine. I am fairly confident we will turn things round sooner rather than later.

"I thought the travelling fans at Southend were absolutely phenomenal, and I want to say thank you to them and to promise them we will go again and we will get things right."