Youth team coach feels his side 'didn't turn up' for the clash against the Bees.
Southend United’s youth team coach Dave Huzzey was “frustrated” and “disappointed” after watching his side lose their 100% league record on Saturday morning against Barnet at Boots & Laces.
Blues followed up a 3-0 friendly reverse against Chelsea with a 4-0 defeat to the Bees as Nana Kyei, Emmanuel Bowens, Daniel Cheema and Matthew Stevens scored for the visitors, and Huzzey left the club’s training ground unhappy primarily with the way that Southend had failed to match their opponents’ work-rate.
“I’m frustrated,” he confirmed. “The boys didn’t turn up. I’m disappointed with what’s happened after the run we’ve had and how well we’ve done, not just in terms of results and performances, but in training, where we’ve been class.
“The run came to an end against Chelsea in midweek; that’s the way we look at it. To be fair to the boys against Chelsea, I thought they were really good and that’s the difference; we gave Chelsea three chances and they scored them all, and the same happened today. I think Barnet missed a few as well – we both missed penalties and both hit the woodwork – so it’s been a tough one.
“The disappointing thing is that I think they worked a bit harder than us today, and that’s something I couldn’t say about this team from the start of the season until now. Barnet got their just rewards and they’ve beaten us by four.
“That might be a little bit flattering for them, but they deserved to win the game and I wouldn’t take anything away from them because they worked harder and I think any team that works harder than their opponents should win the game,” added Huzzey.
Southend did have opportunities early on, notably when forward Norman Wabo was presented with two chances to test Muhammed Otuyo but shot off target, and also when Damani Dias nodded a Harry Phillips corner into the gloves of the Barnet goalkeeper. The coach believed that those misses played a part in the way the game developed.
“We missed three chances in the space of about 10-15 minutes – two from Norman Wabo where he’s gone one-v-one with the goalkeeper and he should score, and Damani Dias should score from a corner – and if one of those had gone in, it would’ve changed the whole complexion of the game because we’d have had something to go with,” he declared.
“The game was open then because they had chances as well, but when they got the first one it gave them something to sit back on, and I think that’s where we struggled. We’ve gone behind this season, but we were still behind at half-time for the first time, and I think that had an effect on us because the boys came off and thought the game was finished. We had to motivate them to tell them they were still in the game.
“Their second goal killed us, although I still felt that we had a foothold in the game to get something from it. We missed chances at 2-0 and there was the penalty miss at 3-0, but by then the game had gone. I was disappointed that they scored the last one because we folded a little bit in the last ten minutes.
“It was evident in the last ten minutes that their hard work paid off. We had a free-kick in the final third and they had eight bodies behind the ball within three seconds of the free-kick being given, so that just showed their mentality. I think our mentality was our biggest problem today, but it’s not all negative and maybe this is what the boys needed.
After eight straight league wins, this was a minor setback for the teenage Shrimpers, but they will have an immediate chance to rectify matters when the Bees visit Boots & Laces again this weekend for a Second Round tie in the Football League Youth Alliance Cup. Huzzey is adamant that his team will bounce back in that game.
“Maybe the boys needed a kick in the right direction and a little bit of a wake-up call because we have been so good. Just because we lost 4-0 to Barnet doesn’t mean we haven’t been good all season; we’ve been very, very good all season, and today we’ve had a little slip-up but I can guarantee that we’ll definitely be back next week with a big performance to prove that.
“All through the season we’ve worked just as hard as other teams and our quality has shown so we’ve over-powered teams. We didn’t work as hard as Barnet today, so we could never show our quality. We were sloppy and our passing never took up, so next week we have to work harder than them and, if we do that, hopefully we’ll have a different performance to this week,” he concluded.