Duncan disappointed with defeat in Devon last night.
Ricky Duncan was hugely disappointed with the performance of Southend United's under-21s side following their defeat to Exeter City last night.
The Blues suffered a 6-0 loss at St James Park and Duncan rued the side's lack of quality in ball retention and passing class.
“It was very disappointing. We know it's tough but the performance last night was poor,” Duncan said.
“Our best patch of play was the final 45 seconds in the first half. It was a nervy and uneven performance. You have no chance if you're giving the opposition a two-goal lead in the first half and you end up chasing the game in a bid to get back into it.
“They tried and worked hard but the quality in terms of passing and on the ball in the first half was where the game was lost. It was a big pitch against experienced players and I was massively disappointed.”
The side had a blend of experience and youth, and Duncan admitted that nobody stepped up to the plate for the Blues in Devon.
“Nobody was outstanding and nobody was worse than anyone else. We have good players in the group – Jack [Bridge], Jason [Williams], Ted [Smith] – we had young players as well, like Sonny Coutts.
“Some players have to step up now and perform now; the majority will be fighting for a contract and have the aim to push up to the first team. It's not an excuse, we were a young side but we didn't perform or step up.
“I wanted to give Dan Walker a taste of it last night. He's been in great form for the youth and deserved the opportunity.”