Chris Powell was honest enough to admit that his Southend side was beaten by the better team in the Carabao Cup 1st Round as Brentford beat Blues 4-2 at Roots Hall.
Goals from Marcus Forss, Julian Jeanvier, Said Benrahma and Kamohelo Mokotjo were enough to send the Championship side through despite a spirited second-half display from Blues.
Shawn McCoulsky grabbed two goals on his Southend debut but it wasn’t enough to stop Blues exiting the competition and afterwards, Powell gave us his thoughts on the cup tie.
On the Brentford defeat…
They’re a good side and even though they made changes they have a certain way of playing, and I felt we didn’t make it a cup tie first-half. It was almost that we accepted that they are a Championship side and we let them have too much of the ball.
At half-time I said to them, lift the intensity, get the crowd going, get ourselves going and we certainly did that, and we got ourselves back in it. Big, big error, which I don’t want to see through the season, is you concede just after you get yourself back in the game.
I’ll take nothing away from Brentford, a very good team, created some good chances. Their movement and the way they move the ball around is very good, but we needed once we got to 1-1 to just stay in and settle ourselves back into the game for five minutes but it wasn’t to be.
It goes 3-1 and you’re thinking it’s going to be a tough one, then Shawn comes up with a fantastic finish and then the moment every Southend fan really wanted [to see was] Michael Klass’ header to go in.
That would have made it 3-3 and it would have been interesting then, but we’re chasing it and it ends up 4-2. There was a lot to like from us in the second-half but we’re beaten by the better side on the evening.
On Shawn McCoulsky’s debut...
Very impressive [debut], his willingness to compete, he’s got a good spring, he wants to get in behind and for someone who’s just been with us for a day or two, I thought he did ever so well.
It’s a fantastic finish [the second goal] and he’s got two goals; I know Theo [Robinson] won’t be happy, but he nodded it in just before it went over the line so he’s got to be pleased with that, and I hope that from now on he shows us and shows the fans why we brought him here.
Good start for him, let’s hope he carries it on.
Looking ahead to Bradford…
I said to the players that our focus now is Bradford. We need our first win and we need to get ourselves going. We’re doing some good things, but ultimately you need results.
I’m pleased for people like Michael Klass that came in, he lasted the 90. He’s a good player and his pass for the second goal was exquisite, and he’ll learn a lot from that because he played against a good side with some good technicians. He’s one for the future.
We saved Timothee Dieng, he was on a yellow and we thought we only wanted him to play an hour because he’s vital for us. He’s going to be a good, good player.
One or two others did really well, so we’ll see. We rested Tom Hopper – he had a bit of a knock – and obviously, I want Tom to be fighting fit for the league games that come up because they’re very, very important to us.
It’s a shame really, cup runs are not synonymous with Southend at the minute but let’s see if can change that in the Checkatrade Trophy or the FA Cup.