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Reaction: Powell on "dagger to our heart" against Rochdale

22 December 2018

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Blues boss Chris Powell was again left frustrated as Southend conceded late to lose 2-1 against Rochdale at Roots Hall in Blues’ final home game of 2018.

Jordan Williams opened the scoring for Dale midway through the first-half but it looked like Southend would take a point after John White headed Blues level in the final 10 minutes.

But Callum Camps popped up with three minutes remaining to nod Rochdale back in front and claim their first win at Roots Hall since 1985, leaving Powell disappointed as he spoke to the press.

On the performance…

I thought the first-half was unacceptable for me and for the players, and I think we were fortunate it was only one. Well done to young Nathan [Bishop], he made some good saves and I thought he acquitted himself well. We needed to change at half-time and give them something to think about and we needed to be more proactive.

Virtually every defeat we’ve had at home has been after we’d got back in the game, and we’ve switched off and let the team back in towards the end of the game. I’m saying to the players, I know we want to win games but sometimes respect the point. If we’d done that three, four, five times this season, we’d be in the top half.

It’s been one step forward and another one back, and after last week we wanted to get back-to-back wins which would have been very important for us. You’ve got to be more diligent when you get yourself back in it, just to make sure you don’t slip up and we’ve done it again.

On conceding late again…

I keep saying to them, do they enjoy doing this [conceding late goals]? Surely they don’t, but it’s almost a bit masochistic. You get yourself back in – good ball in and Taylor [Moore] flicks it on and Whitey [John White] is in there with a really brave header and you get yourself back in it.

You can still go for it, but we don’t let them in; we put them on the back-foot, but for whatever reason, it’s a poor goal. We actually had two or three efforts to deal with it before it happened. We get everyone on such a high, the fans and everyone, but we need to just say, let’s make sure we’re diligent and we’ve worked so hard to get back in it, let’s just make sure we take something from this game.

If it’s three points because we’re in the ascendency, then great; if not, just make sure we don’t get a dagger to our heart yet again. I keep saying to the players, do you like doing that, because it’s amazing how many times it’s happened. Our home form could be a lot better, but we’ve lost more than we’ve won at home and I don’t like that.

On Mark Oxley’s absence…

It’s a blow but we’ve dealt with injuries all season and his one came out of nowhere, so I had no problems putting Bish [Nathan Bishop] in. He knew yesterday that he would play and I thought he acquitted himself well, made some good saves and he’s going to be a good ‘keeper.

He’s got a good mentality, we’ve introduced him in the Checkatrade Trophy and I had no qualms about putting him in today. Ted Smith: I’m sure everyone’s thinking what’s happened to Ted, but Ted’s only had one game in 14 months and he had a set-back a few weeks back.

We don’t know how long Mark will be out for but I’m happy with the boys we’ve got. I don’t know how Mark is today, but I saw him briefly and we’ll see in training where he’s at and if he’s going to be fit for Boxing Day.

If not, we’ll just get on with what we have. We have young Nathan and Ted, and even though Ted’s lack of games counts against him because he had a real serious injury, he’s been training well and I have no qualms in playing Nathan or Ted when required.


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