Jimmy Bell has called Crawley boss Steve Evans ‘disrespectful’ but is praising Southend manager Paul Sturrock.
Evans criticised the Reds after the 1-1 draw on Saturday, saying: "That would finish football, having to play against that every week."
But later in the week Sturrock – whose side overtook Crawley at the top on Saturday – was full of praise for John Coleman and Bell.
He said: "John Coleman worked on a shoestring budget last year and his team made the play-offs. That kind of manager excites me."
Assistant manager Bell admitted: "Crawley are a good team but I felt it was disgraceful what he said about us. He showed no respect.
"Ninety-nine per cent of managers in the league know the limitations me and John have to work with. Any manager, even in the Premier League, who had been stripped of their assets like we were in the summer would struggle and we are doing our best with the players we have.
"We are trying to find other jewels like we have in the past but we are still searching.
"Last Saturday we worked out there were eight missing from the team who played in the play-offs – you can’t replace eight players in three months.
"We are still fighting and we had to have our backs to the wall at Crawley but we came out battling, we had a plan, and did well.
"It was nice what Paul Sturrock said but I felt Steve Evans was disrespectful to me, to John and to the club.
"He has a good team and needs to concentrate on his own team and not look at others."