Blues boss Chris Powell got everything that he wished for on Boxing Day with Southend claiming three points and keeping a clean sheet in a 1-0 win away at Oxford United.
Michael Kightly headed in Theo Robinson’s cross with 11 minutes of normal time remaining to give Southend a vital victory on the road.
And following the win – Southend’s seventh Boxing Day win in a row – the Blues boss spoke to the press to give his thoughts on the win at the Kassam Stadium.
On the Oxford win…
It’s always a good day to get a result, Boxing Day, because everyone’s on a high from Christmas and I thought the players were excellent today.
I think what has been our downfall is we haven’t started well in games and that’s happened to us last Saturday against Rochdale – even the Accrington game – and I just said to them, give us a chance so we can build.
Obviously, I spent Christmas with the family but all I could think about was this game, who to play and how to play it, and we had three up front in a way but they had to do the work off the ball and I thought, to a man, they did that.
It’s great for our fans because it may not seem not too far but it’s still quite a way to come and I can’t ask for anything more other than three points and a clean sheet.
On the match-winner…
Michael Kightly gave us a freshness. He’s not been involved for a while but he’s been in the squad, he’s been training well and looking good, so I thought today was the right time to bring him in.
He’s not known for his headers, that’s for certain, but he’s an intelligent player and we know he’s been around a long time and there’s a lot of experience in our front line.
Kightly popping up in the box after Theo [Robinson] made a run down the side – [Theo’s] run, his positiveness and brilliant cross, if you get that right it doesn’t matter how big you are, if you’re in the right area, you’ll get the goals and Michael Kightly certainly did that today.
I thought his general play was good, he carried us up the pitch a few times during the game and it was a good performance by him.
On finding consistency…
I’ve said to the players, you’ve got to back it up. It’s the big thing in this league [consistency] but I’ve said they’ve started the post-Christmas period off well, so I’m pleased.
I don’t know if many people saw, I took a moment at the end, I just sat in the dugout and the fans were going mad with the players. They went in and I just sat down because that’s what I want to see from my team, that’s what I want to see especially away from home - give yourself a chance to play and compete.
This league can be physical but if we can match that and play our football in the right areas at the right times, we’ll get results. I see Coventry have won today so they’ll be cock-a-hoop but so will we. It’ll be a big stage, I’m sure there will be a healthy crowd and let’s see if we can carry on from where we left off today.