City’s 10th home defeat of the season and the fact other results went against them ended their faint play-off hopes, but Grayson said: “We still want to finish the season positively. The teams we play against (Walsall tomorrow and Scunthorpe on Saturday) have plenty to play for so they won’t be dead rubbers.”
Grayson, who is forecasting ‘a turnaround of players’ whether he stays at Valley Parade or not, said: “It was a tight game and you can’t fault the players for application, attitude and work rate. Both teams cancelled each other out to a certain degree.
“The first goal was going to be key and we didn’t get the breaks when they came along. We put enough balls into the box, but we didn’t have the end product.”
After goalkeeper Mark Oxley made a super double save to deny Tim Dieng and then substitute Dominic Poleon in the 56th minute, Southend went in front in the 72nd with a header from captain John White after Stephen McLaughlin returned the ball into the goalmouth when City failed to clear a corner.
The visitors made the game safe six minutes later, Marc-Antoine Fortune’s right-foot shot taking a deflection of defender Nat Knight-Percival after a fine break from Dru Yearwood.
To complete Bradford’s misery, striker Kai Bruenker was stretchered off with an ankle injury.
Bradford City: Doyle, McMahon, Knight-Percival, Kilgallon, Warnock, Gilliead, Guy, Dieng (McCarten 83), Lund, Wyke, Bruenker (Poleon 15, Law 74). Unused substitutes: Raeder, Chicksen, Vincelot, Patrick.
Southend United: Oxley, Demetriou, White, Kyprianou, Bwomono, Yearwood, Mantom, McLaughlin, Cox (Gard 90), Fortune (Ladapo 87), Robinson (Kightly 65). Unused substitutes: Bishop, McGlashan, Harrison, Mitchell-Nelson.
Referee: T Kettle (Rutland).