Chris Powell was delighted to see his Blues side end a run of four games without a win as recent results had “started to nag away” at the Southend boss.
An early strike from Stephen McLaughlin and the first goal since Boxing Day for Simon Cox helped Southend record an impressive 2-0 win at home against Rotherham United.
Having seen his side reach the magical 50-point mark and go into the top-half for the first time during his tenure, Powell spoke to the press and gave us his thoughts on today’s victory.
On the Rotherham win…
It had started to nag away at me a little bit [drawing the last three] because I kept thinking if we could have just converted one of those draws into a win it would have felt a lot better.
It was real positive play by us today, especially at the start of the game and we got our just reward I felt.
We tend to be quite self-motivated when we play the bigger sides. I always say to them that there’s not much for me to say because one of the bigger sides are coming to town and we’ve got to show people that we’re capable of playing against sides like this.
It’s good to do it at home. I like wins on the road but in front of the majority of your fans is where you get most of your points and I’ve got to be really pleased with the goals.
I also felt the team as a whole when they came under pressure you saw the resilience, the character of trying to defend their goal and get a clean sheet. I always feel if we get a clean sheet we do create chances and we converted them today.
On Mark Oxley’s clean sheet…
Mark is a very good goalkeeper at this level, he’s got everything; size, his handling is good, his kicking – he’s got an assist today – but he makes saves and he makes good saves at crucial times.
He works well with Lee Harrison and the group of other keepers but there was a real desire, not only from Ox but from other defenders and the lads that came back.
They’re an uncompromising team sometimes, Rotherham. They can play good football but they do have the added bonus of playing longer. They put you under pressure and you can see why they’ve got good results over the course of the season.
We handled that really well and I’m really pleased, yet another clean sheet in my 10 games.
On Simon Cox’s goal…
It’s been tough for him, no doubt about it. You get judged on goals and, to be fair to him, he has assisted a few goals since I’ve been here but ultimately he wants goals and that’s what he is about.
I kept faith with him. I took him out for the game at Rochdale as I felt he might just need a breather. I brought him back against Blackpool and it was close to him getting sent off, so I had to sub him, but I’ve spoken to him and I was hugging him yesterday.
Sometimes I can talk, but I showed him a bit of love yesterday (not too much) because I felt it was right because he’s a clever player. He’s played at the highest level and I think he can score goals at this level, and I think today his goal was just pure endeavour.
We did have some tactical plans with regards to how we could attack Rotherham which I think you saw more of in the second half but we felt there were times during the course of the 90 minutes that they would give us chances if we didn’t give up on stuff, and Coxy encapsulated that with his goal.