Huzzey left frustrated following first away defeat of the season for Blues.
Southend United’s youth team coach Dave Huzzey was left frustrated after watching his U18s team beaten on their travel for the first time in 2015/16.
Blues conceded four goals in 28 second-half minutes at Leyton Orient to lose 4-0 in east London after recording seven wins from their first seven away games during the current campaign, but Huzzey felt that the reverse might aid the squad’s development in the long-term.
Southend had struggled after the break in recent triumphs at Cambridge United and Dagenham & Redbridge, and had only added one goal to the five they netted in the first half of their FA Youth Cup First Round victory over Barton Rovers in midweek. After going in goalless at the interval this time around, there was no room for a similar performance.
“I’m really disappointed,” Huzzey said. “I’m disappointed for the boys, but a little bit frustrated as well. At 0-0 at half-time, we were more than in the game, and we let it slip in the second half with two goals that were just a few minutes apart, and that’s not good enough. It was our mindset, that we’d conceded and we were negative and then we conceded again.
“At half-time, Kev [Maher] and I spoke to the boys and said that we had weathered the storm. They came at us for the first 15 minutes and, let’s not beat about the bush, they were on top. We found it hard to deal with balls into the box and the directness of their play, but in the last 30 minutes of the first half I thought we were on top and we played some really good stuff.
“We controlled the game through Joe Bedford, through Harry Phillips, through Ben Musselwhite and then switching play, and I thought that part of the game was really good. At half-time we stopped and, again, it’s the second half.
“It’s been a number of weeks in a row now where we haven’t performed in the second half as well as we can, and today we’ve been punished for it. Maybe it’s a good thing for their development to get punished for it, but not in the way we did, because we didn’t deserve to lose 4-0. We did, and we need to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” he declared.
Huzzey was concerned with the manner of Orient’s four goals, believing that Blues could have done more to prevent the efforts from Steven Alzate, Myles Judd, Christian Owusu and Josh Koroma putting the match beyond their reach: “The first goal was nowhere near good enough; there was one straight ball all the way through the two centre-halves and then we weren’t close enough to the second ball,” he lamented.
“Then we went 2-0 down and, without blaming the referee, he didn’t help us because we don’t believe it was a penalty to make it 3-0, and then we were out of the game. The one thing I will say about the boys is that they didn’t stop for the full 90 minutes. They gave us everything they had, and that’s a credit to them, but silly, individual mistakes have cost us a game that we were more than comfortable in during the first half.
“Take nothing away from Leyton Orient; they are a very good side. We have come up against two sides that are more physically developed than we are in Luton Town and Leyton Orient, and in the Luton game we found it hard to cope with them but we were in the game the whole time, and today we were in the game for 50-60 minutes but after going 2-0 down we couldn’t control the game through possession anymore.”
“Then it became a physical battle because we were running to try and get something. Rather than shutting up shop, we still tried going out there to get the next goal at 2-0, and the penalty killed us a little bit because I thought we had some momentum. We struggled with the physical battle.
“The boys will bounce back because they are more than good enough to do that. As a club, and as a youth team, we will definitely get back ready for Northampton Town, at home, and I can assure everyone that we’ll put in a good performance against them,” Huzzey concluded.