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Phillips admits he returned too soon

24 October 2012

Defender Mark Phillips conceded it was probably too soon for him to return to action after tonight’s 2-1 defeat against Aldershot Town.

The Southend United centre-back was forced off with a reoccurrence of a groin problem after being handed a recall on Tuesday night.

He was substituted in the 76th minute after he his headed goal had made it 1-1.

But the ex-Brentford defender feels the injury is hindering his performances this season.

“To be honest I think I am struggling with my groin still,” Phillips told the official website. 

“I don’t think my performance was up to standard but I think my groin is holding me back. 

“I’m going to have to reassess it and see where I go from here. 

“Possibly in hindsight it was too soon but we are all here to put a shirt on and give it out all.”

Phillips latest setback came on a night to forget for Southend United supporters.

Their side fell behind after just 25 seconds to Danny Hylton’s opener. Phillips then struck back before Freddy Eastwood missed a penalty leaving Sonny Bradley to head in the winner three minutes from time for the visitors.

That was enough to earn Dean Holdsworth’s side their first win in eight matches, with United still searching for their first win over the Shots under boss Paul Sturrock.

“We didn’t start well with the early goal and it really knocked us back,” he said.

“The boys confidence is apparently quite low. 

“The performance throughout the whole team, including myself, was not up to standard. 

“It’s one to forget.”

Sturrock blasted his team after the match for believing they only had to turn up to record three points against their opponents.

It was a claim Phillips denied, although he did concede that they had not been focused from the off after going being inside the first minute.

“You respect every opponent and you know that even though they have been losing they will give it their all,” said Phillips.

“Aldershot are a bit of a bogey team for us. I don’t think we have won against them in the last two and a bit years. 

“I think we did approach the game right but the early goal was a killer blow and knocked the stuffing out of us. It took until half-time for us to get back into the game.”

Hylton was allowed to almost stride unchallenged past the Blues defence to put the visitors 1-0 up straight from the kick-off.

30-year-old Phillips was unable to pinpoint exactly why, but he felt he personally could have done better to prevent the goal.

“It could have been not talking or people not focused properly,” he said considering the early goal. 

“I look at myself and think should I have cleared it better and maybe the centre midfield have been able to win it a bit too easy. 

“There were many things you can break down and look at but I think a few of us could have done better.”

However, Phillips did make amends ten minutes shortly before being substituted as he headed Kevan Hurst’s whipped in cross past Aldershot keeper Jamie Young to level the score.

And when Freddy Eastwood had the opportunity to win it from the penalty spot he thought it was game over.

“It was nice to score,” he continued. “It was a lovely ball in so it was down to me to step up and put it in the back of the net.

“By the time of the penalty I was on the bench but I was thinking Freddy is going to drill it and it was in. Unfortunately it didn’t happen that way.

“We approach every game looking for three points but with this bitter taste in our mouth a win Saturday even more important now.”

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