Southend United’s first-team coach Graham Coughlan was disappointed with his development side’s defending as they were beaten 5-4 by Dagenham & Redbridge.
Jack Bridge scored twice, but missed a penalty, Ellis Brown got one and a trialist got one during the 5-4 defeat, in which Blues had led 2-0 at one stage.
Coughlan was happy with the attacking display, but says defensively they must improve before the game against Oxford United next week.
He said: “Going forward we were very good, created a lot of chances and if we’d scored the penalty it would have finished 5-5, but defensively we weren’t at it.
“Good defenders can sense danger early on, but we just weren’t able to do that today and Dagenham & Redbridge were able to take advantage.
“We conceded two penalties but we were also disappointed with the goals that we conceded from open play.
“They are young, raw and sometimes naive players so they need help. We were all at sea defensively today but they are hugely talented and I really enjoy working with them.
“They gave it their all and worked extremely hard against a quite experienced Dagenham side so they will have got a lot from it.
“We welcomed Josh Banton back from injury for a short period today. He should be fit for the Oxford United game.”
Coughlan was pleased with his side going forward and felt Jason Williams put in a great shift leading the line.
He added: “I thought Jason was outstanding. He held the ball up well, brought others in to play, ran at the defence and looked a constant danger. We’ve done a lot of work in that area and he’s coming on well.”
“Going forward we were very good, but the full-backs for example have got to remember they’re not wingers and they have a job to do defensively.
“Jack Bridge has been given a big role in the team and he did well to get a couple of goals today. He will be looking at Jack Payne and hoping to make the same sort of impact.”