Sol Campbell was pleased to see his Southend players end a difficult week with a 0-0 draw against Tranmere at Roots Hall.
Nine members of the Shrimpers’ squad did not receive their December pay packets until Friday.
And Campbell was happy with how his side performed after a testing few days.
“All I can deal with is the football side, so I’ve had to rally the lads,” Campbell said.
“It’s been difficult but the lads prepared really well and were very focused.
“It’s commendable how they’ve stuck to the task and I’ve thanked them for their professionalism.
“It was a tough game and we defended really well.
“We were very solid in all aspects of the game and it was just the last third when we needed to take more care or risks.
“We had a couple of chances but we didn’t take them.
“However, we’ve got a clean sheet, which hasn’t happened for a long time, and it’s something for us to build on.”
Southend’s clean sheet was just their second of the season and their first at Roots Hall since New Year’s Day 2019.
The Shrimpers remain second from bottom in the table, with Tranmere one place and 12 points above them.
Rovers boss Micky Mellon felt the clash was lacking in quality.
“It was a very, very tight game and the game was crying out for a bit of quality,” said Mellon.
“We needed that in the final third and I think we lacked that.
“The longer it goes on the tighter the teams seem to become because it’s obvious that both teams don’t want to lose the game.
“But we tried everything we could. We changed it, we tried to get players further up the pitch in order to try and cause more problems but we just weren’t able to find that bit of quality we needed to try and get the victory.”