Southend boss Paul Sturrock has admitted he made a mistake in giving Miguel Comminges his full debut against Chesterfield.
Guadeloupe midfielder Comminges, who joined from Cardiff on January 2 and came on as a second-half substitute against Cheltenham a day later, was taken off at half-time on Saturday after he started the 3-2 home loss against the Spireites.
Sturrock told the Southend Echo: "I made a mistake starting Miguel and I hold my hands up to that.
"It had been hard to gauge his fitness because he wasn't allowed to play against Chelmsford in the Essex Senior Cup so we only had training to go on.
"I decided to put him in but I think it showed he's nowhere near being match fit.
"It was unfair on him and we are going to have to give him more reserve games to get his fitness up because he hadn't played many games before coming here."