Chris Powell was pleased with his side's performance in the Checkatrade Trophy last night and the Blues boss is proud of the team's desire to bounce back from Saturday’s cup exit...
Southend were knocked out of the Emirates FA Cup on Saturday after losing 4-2 to Barnsley, but the result tonight will certainly have boosted the squad's morale.
A penalty shoot-out is never an easy way to progress in any competition but that’s just what Powell’s side did, and the result could well help them against high-flying Portsmouth on Saturday.
On the victory
“It was a good battle out there, yesterday we worked on how we wanted to play and how we wanted to approach the game, we spoke about it to the players and I felt they settled into the game really well and that was a real positive.
“We always play under pressure and we understand that as players and staff. You always want to do well, and I went with the team tonight and I thought they did ever so well. I felt like we were a bit hard done by to go one-nil down, but it was great to bring the game level and I think when you look at Macca’s(Stephen McLaughlin’s) shot you can see it was going in.
“Either way the diversion goes in, what I was really pleased about was how we took to the penalty shoot-out because we could have been despondent, we could have felt that here’s another game that’s gone against us with decisions, but we kept going and that’s good.
“The result is a positive for the fans that were here, I know we always travel in numbers but it’s tough after the weekend and then having this midweek game, but suddenly after the win now you can hope that the next round will be a positive one and maybe we can go further in this competition.”
On the penalty shoot-out
“As I said before, we went through the whole process and spoke about it and then we had two teams yesterday, the team that was starting today and the rest.
“I watched them all and gave them a few pointers, I said don’t run even though Michael Kightly did, because sometimes you get caught up in the emotion of it all, when the referee blows his whistle don’t hurry, because that’s your time, he’s blown and now it's up to you.
“I said don’t try to be clever or try and chip it down the middle, pick your spot go with it and you either hit the target and it goes in, or it doesn’t, but make sure you don’t make any mistakes in regards to the process of taking the shot.
“Once they had done that all they have to do is leave Mark Oxley to do what he does best, make himself big and pick a side, and he did just that.
On Mark Oxley’s performance
“I'm really pleased for him after the weekend because he felt down and I'm sure there's people out there saying maybe he shouldn’t play, but I’m his manager and I've got to back him.
“I’ve got to give him the support he needs, not everyone plays good week in week out, and I know that the players don’t go out there to make mistakes.
“All they want to do is go out there and play well and I know it doesn't always happen but what you’ve got to do is bounce back and that’s what they did."