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Match Reports

Graham Coughlan: Young Blues 'could have done better' against Oxford United

25 February 2015

Coach reflects on 2-0 behind closed doors friendly defeat to Oxford.

Southend United coach Graham Coughlan felt a youthful Blues side ‘could have been better’ following a 2-0 defeat at Oxford United in a behind closed doors friendly.

Lee Barnard was the only senior player in the squad, and Coughlan felt that the side were always second best to the U’s.

“We weren’t great. We could have been better,” Coughlan admitted afterwards.

“We asked the young lads to step up and one or two found it difficult. We competed and that’s the way the game was. We were hanging in there. We didn’t create much or calve them open.

“The development games are better for the young lads when they’re around the senior lads. Oxford were overloaded with first team players, whilst we only had Lee Barnard out there.”

On the day, Coughlan believes Oxford’s experience shone through in the game, with former Brighton & Hove Albion and Leyton Orient midfielder Andrew Whing netting one of the U’s goals.

“We want it to become a contest. If it’s not then there’s no point in these sort of games. They had Andrew Whing, Will Hoskins up front; James Roberts and a couple of others were all first team players out there. Between them they had about 400 or 500 appearances.

“Oxford could have increased the tempo and picked up a couple of more goals. We made changes after the hour, and the conditions weren’t great but it was again a very worthwhile game for the young lads.

“It was a real education for them against Oxford and they won’t come.”

Blues vs. Oxford: Ted Smith, Jordan Williams, Matsuzaka, Banton, Farrell, Ellis Brown, Johnston, Bridge, Cotton, Jason Williams, Barnard

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