Paul Sturrock saw Southend's recent upturn in fortunes halted against Shrewsbury and admitted he should have rotated his ranks to cope with the demanding schedule of late.
The Shrimpers` three-match winning streak and five-game unbeaten run came to an end as Jon Taylor and Matt Harrold handed the visitors a 2-0 triumph.
Sturrock said: "Our squad is not the biggest and this team has been successful for the last eight or nine games, so you have to go with it. But here it looked like a bridge too far. Before the match I did contemplate freshening the team up and, with hindsight, perhaps I should have done that.
"We have had a great run and now we can appreciate the rest we will have without a midweek game.
"I'm hoping we can get back on track at Accrington next Saturday and get back to the standards we have been achieving.
"We did create some chances and if one of those had gone in during the first half then it could have been a different game, but on the day the best team won and there's not doubt about that."