Southend United’s youth team coach Dave Huzzey praised his side’s application after they recorded an impressive 3-0 victory against Ipswich Town at Playford Road on Saturday.
Blues triumphed 3-0 thanks to goals from Brandon Scott, Nico Cotton and Emmanuel Adeyeye, but it was the team’s defensive work that caught Huzzey’s eye: “I’m really, really happy. For the last three weeks we’ve been getting better and better and better and today proved that against some really good opponents,” he said.
“I’m really pleased with the way the boys applied themselves before, during and after the game. The most pleasing thing was that we didn’t concede a goal because of their determination and enthusiasm not to do that.”
Two particular periods impressed Huzzey, with the latter stages of the first half and the second period proving his point: “I think that was probably the best 12 minutes we’ve had [the spell during the first half] because we were under pressure, 1-0 up, and they could’ve got back into the game, but it just showed you how resilient our boys are and the first and second year mix at the minute is the best we’re going to get.”
“We’ve got leaders in the team - three or four real leaders - and the rest are just behind them and ready to battle with anyone. That 12-15 minutes they had on top, we didn’t have much of the ball, we couldn’t break out, but as soon as we did it and started playing to our pattern, it made Ipswich realise that we weren’t going to be easy to break down because they had all the possession and we were just so resilient.”
“Then, when there was that two-minute water-break in the second half, when the lads came off, the biggest thing was, at 3-0 up, they didn’t want to concede. It wasn’t coming from me; it was coming from the players. Sonny Coutts said we don’t want to concede a goal now, we just keep on going, and that’s what we did.”
“I was massively impressed with the boys; we know about their technical ability and we’ve spoken about that for the past few weeks, but their determination and their application has been brilliant, and that hasn’t come from me or Rick, that’s come from the boys,” he added.
Huzzey also watched as Brandon Scott and Emmanuel Adeyeye got their names on the scoresheet, adding to a long list of goalscorers in the club’s four pre-season matches to date. That potency is generating a feeling of optimism for Huzzey and Academy Manager Ricky Duncan as Blues lead up to the season-opener against Gillingham on Saturday.
“Rick said that you don’t often see teams come here and not concede against Ipswich. We’ve done that, firstly, but then the goals we’ve scored and the way we get in is just brilliant. We’ve had 11 different goalscorers in the first three weeks of pre-season, which is unbelievable,” he reported.
“There are goals coming from everywhere, and everyone is just so determined to get on the end of things and to create. To have that in our side is brilliant. Last year we had Jason Williams and Jack Brdge scoring our goals, but this year we have 11 players capable of doing it; that’s perfect.”
“We’ve got two more tough tests, going to Colchester first and then to Charlton, and that will lead us nicely into the Gillingham game. We’ll probably bring a few U16s in. They did well against Ipswich U16s, and that just shows you that we have strength in depth, so we’re looking forward to it.”