Coughlan disappointed following defeat to Harlow Town.
Southend United's Development Squad manager Graham Coughlan was left frustrated as his side bowed out of the Essex Senior Cup following a home defeat to Harlow Town.
The visitors ran out 4-2 winners at Roots Hall and Coughlan rued what he calls a 'disappointing display'.
“Players were given a great opportunity which doesn't come round too often to showcase their talent under the lights at Roots Hall,” Coughlan said.
“It was a really disappointing display coupled with some poor defending cost us a place in the next round. Defending set pieces takes pride and bravery which we came up short on.
“With six offensive players including three strikers, we knew going forward we could score goals but defensively without the ball we looked wide open and isolated.
“The personnel didn't fit the shape but these lads have to get game time from somewhere. 'Development' is the key word at this stage of their careers.
Blues went 1-0 down before scoring twice to earn a half time lead following strikes from first team players Jack Payne and then Shaq Coulthirst, before Harlow battled back after the break to win the game and progress to the next round.
“When players cross that white line you trust they will do their jobs to the best of their ability and if that's the best they can offer well then some will struggle to further their careers.
“Personally I'm gutted to lose any game of football and the performance didn't represent what I'm all about as a player or a coach.
“The link up play from our front three was poor and the stats at half time and full time echo this. At the end of the day it was 11 vs 11, system vs. system and Harlow were better individually and collectively, which we congratulate them on and wish them well going forward.”