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Match Reports

Atkinson: Bright start set the tone

25 March 2014

Will Atkinson says Blues' great start against Oxford United was the catalyst for the win

Will Atkinson says Southend United reaped the rewards of a blistering start against play-off rivals Oxford United on Monday night.

Blues were 2-0 up inside the opening 19 minutes thanks to goals from Atkinson and Lee Barnard, and the midfielder says the opening ten or so minutes set the tone for the night.

The midfielder, who scored his last goal in the 4-1 win against Millwall back in early January, was delighted to play a part in getting Blues back to winning ways after a tough few weeks.

He said: “The most important thing was getting the three points, the performance didn’t matter as much, but the performance was a very good one and that’s a bonus.

“We set the tone for the whole game early on. We got on the front foot after coming out of the traps well.

“We were hungry to win the ball back and really up for the game. Getting that early goal was vital. It lifted everyone.

“After a couple of bore draws as they are called, we wanted that early goal and thankfully we got it.

“It gave everyone a lift, especially the crowd, and we were really able to kick-on from there to go on and win the game.”

It wasn’t just the crowd who were boosted by the early goal. Atkinson says it gave him a real lift having not scored too often this season.

He said: “Always nice to score and a goal gives you that personal boost that sometimes can make a big difference.

“Nice that is happened early so I was able to grow into the game with confidence and energy.

“I know I need to score more goals, it’s something I’ve been working on and something the staff have been telling me.

“So it was great to be able to set us on our way to victory. The ball fell kindly for me and I was able to guide it in.

“I’m delighted with the goal, but the most important thing was the three points and now it’s all about kicking on from here.”

An interview with Will Atkinson is available on Blues Player.

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