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Match Reports

Brown frustrated with Blues set-piece frailties

17 February 2016

Blues Boss gives his assessment after Bradford City defeat

Southend United Manager Phil Brown was left frustrated at conceding two more goals from set-pieces in the 2-0 defeat to Bradford City on Tuesday night.

Last night’s loss was the Blues second successive defeat after coming undone at Scunthorpe United at the weekend.

The goal from Saturday came from a corner, as did the second at the Coral Windows stadium as James Hanson headed in.

Tony McMahon had opened the scoring with a perfectly executed free-kick in the first half, which meant all three goals conceded by Southend in their last two games have come from dead ball situations.

Something which is a concern to Brown.

“It’s down to set-pieces again.” He said speaking after the game.

“We conceded a set-piece on Saturday and that cost us the three points then.

 “Regardless of the performance at Scunthorpe it was a set-piece that cost us, and low and behold exactly the same has happened tonight.

“We played better against Bradford but again it comes back to set-pieces and the mentality of the team to defend set-pieces properly.

“We’ve still got a great chance and a great opportunity this season, but at the end of the day we’re losing it with set-pieces, nothing else.”

Southend started the game well with some neat link up play and movement. The Blues came close to taking the lead in the 15th minute, as Noel Hunt’s half-volley was expertly tipped over by Ben Williams.

Despite an improved performance, Brown feels a lack of a cutting-edge cost his team any chance of getting something from the game.

“I think Noel Hunt had our best chance, when we swiveled and turned and the keeper made a save.” He added.

“Outside of that, we had good possession but didn’t really hurt them.

“I think there is a little bit of confusion in our team of how we want to play, so my job now is to get some clarity in the ranks.

“When you’re not playing so well, you’ve still got to grind out results, and that’s what we didn’t do on Saturday, and that’s what we didn’t do tonight.”

Brown paid tribute to the traveling support for making the long trips north to Bradford and Scunthorpe, and is determined to get back to winning ways against Burton Albion for them as much as anybody.

“The supporters that turned up tonight were fantastic to turn up at Bradford City on a Tuesday night.

“They’ve got a four-and-a-half-hour journey back home, and you just want to give them something to smile about and we’re not doing that at the moment.

“I don’t think it’s through a lack of effort, but I do think it’s a lack of thought process and that’s my job to address between now and Monday.”

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