Huzzey rues side's lack of consistency following defeat to Watford.
Southend United U18s coach Dave Huzzey bemoaned his side’s lack of consistency as they were defeated 3-0 at Watford seven days after an impressive 4-0 triumph over Swindon Town.
Blues conceded two goals in the first half and then a second seven minutes after the interval to record their Football League Youth Alliance Merit League One loss of the campaign, and Huzzey could not hide his frustration at the final whistle.
“I’m disappointed, as the boys are,” he declared. I‘m not disappointed for them, because I think they got what they deserved. The better team won the game on the day, individually and collectively, but I’m not sure that they are better than us. However, they didn’t give me any chance to doubt that today because I thought they were miles better than us.”
“It’s frustrating because, when we drew 2-2 with Watford, I thought we were better than them, and I thought we deserved to beat them, but this is the biggest problem with this group of players. I know they’re only young and they’re only 16 or 17-years-old, but the best team needs to win the game. We’re so inconsistent.
“Against Watford two weeks ago we were better than them and we couldn’t win the game and today they were better than us and they did win the game, and they deserved to. The boys shouldn’t feel sorry for themselves, and I don’t feel sorry for them, because they got what they deserved,” he added.
Having made a series of mistakes in a 7-2 reverse to the same opponents at London Colney earlier in the season, Huzzey admitted that he feared a similar scoreline could be possible when the first goal went in, although he was pleased to see his side regroup.
“The first goal was an absolute nightmare; it should’ve been cleared at the near post but it’s gone in and they’ve gone 1-0 up. I just think the mindset after that was ‘here we go again; a mistake, they’re going to score seven, what are we going to do?’ We sat back and they had a bit of pressure, and then we got back into the game for 20 minutes.
“Half-time came at the wrong time for us because I think we were kicking on, although obviously we conceded another one before that. We came out at half-time and, to be fair, the boys had a little go and I thought that if we got the next goal, it could be interesting. However, if you’re going to push forward, you can’t allow gaps between the two centre-halves like we did and the forward finished it off quite easily,” he reported.
“It’s frustrating for me and the coaching staff because I feel that it comes back on us. We’ve worked with the boys, and then we’ve come back here and it’s not the same because we lost 7-2 last time and the mistakes then were a lot worse, but we expected to come here and give a good account of ourselves. We’ve come on bundles since then, as a team and individually, and we lost 3-0.
“We somehow need to kick on again and play like we did against Swindon where we put in a good performance and were clinical. Today we weren’t clinical and, if I’m honest, we could’ve played another hour and we wouldn’t’ve scored. It just seemed like it wasn’t going to go our way today.”
Huzzey was impressed by the substitutes that were introduced during the second period and hinted that they will be given the chance to show what they can do when Blues take on the winners of the FLYA South West and South East Conferences, AFC Bournemouth and Watford, in their next two fixtures.
“The subs we made were better than the boys that were on the pitch. Harry Phillips was different class when he came on, Norman Wabo was different class when he came on and Macauley Keating came on and had a real go. It was hard to come on as a sub because the pitch wasn’t the best, but that was the same for both teams.
“Those three, especially Harry and Norman, were class and they deserve everything they’re going to get in the next couple of weeks because they deserve to start. Jordan Williams was ‘Mr. Consistent’ and had a really good game again and, apart from that, all I can think about is their players because they were good.
“Playing Bournemouth and Barnet is exactly what we want now. We want to play the best teams, and those two will be the best teams. It’s all about reflecting on this for a couple of days and then kicking on for the Bournemouth game, which will be a really good match. The boys have to pick themselves up to beat the best; to be the best you have to beat the best, and that’s what we’ll have to do next week,” he predicted.