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Reaction: Powell takes positives from Rovers defeat

4 August 2018

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Southend United boss Chris Powell was left frustrated after his Blues side opened the season with a 3-2 defeat at home to Doncaster Rovers.

Despite dominating the first-half, Southend wasn’t able to get past a heroic Marko Marosi and was punished with three quick goals in the second half from Grant McCann’s side. 

Blues showed their fight with a spirited comeback which almost stole the home side a point and afterwards, Powell spoke to the press to give his assessment of this season’s curtain raiser.

On the Doncaster defeat…

I thought our first half performance warranted a goal; we needed a goal then because we were very, very good. The keeper made some exception saves today, we’ve made 24 strikes on goal and when you have that many you need to score more than two.

We put them on the back foot first-half and maybe the drinks break or half-time killed us. That next 15-20 minutes, we weren’t right, we were passive, and they were poor goals to concede, and you give yourself a real mountain to climb.

That was more like us, the first-half and maybe the last 20-25 minutes of the second, but by then it was too late. We’ve had over 20 shots, they’ve had six or seven and they’ve scored from three of them. You can’t do that in any game of football at any level.

If we produce more on a consistent basis the first-half, I know we were just going for it basically in the last 20 minutes, but actually, we played and made some good decisions, but you’ve got to put it all together and sadly for us, we couldn’t, so welcome back to football.

On the positives…

There was loads [of positives]. Everyone’s down and obviously, I’m a bit down, you want to start off well, you don’t want to be playing catch-up. Actually when you look back, especially the first-half, I think Mark Oxley made one save when it was offside and their keeper made easily six, seven, eight saves first-half. But you need to put it in the back of the net because it can turn around and bite you and it certainly did for us today.

Tom Hopper; it’s good for him to score. I thought he was excellent today, he lead the line well and was brave. I feel he got fouled over 100 times, he didn’t really get much protection, but he kept on going and that’s the sort of player that he is, he brings other players in to play and he got his reward and actually, he could have got two or three goals today.

Luke Hyam I thought was solid, dovetailed well with Sam Mantom in the middle of the park and Harry Lennon, up until the first goal was looking strong. He made a couple of mistakes there – Michael Turner and him – that led to the first goal.

On the fightback…

I actually said to them, to be 3-0 down at home at any stage of the season, but especially your first game, you could quite easily go into your shell but actually, it seemed to galvanise them a bit.

It galvanised the crowd, everyone was a bit down and I’ve said it’s always a 14-man game and those three lads came on and we threw caution to the wind. And actually, to get a couple of goals back and almost could have got a third, you have to give them some credit for that.

But it’s a 90-minute game and we made too many errors. It’s about the detail in the first half of the second-half and really that period is why I’m standing here with a loss.

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