The “story of our season” is how Chris Powell described Southend’s defeat to Barnsley after Kieffer Moore’s late header meant Blues left Oakwell empty-handed.
It was the fourth time this season Blues have lost out to a goal scored in the final five minutes of the game and on another day they could have come away with much more than a point.
But Southend had to make do with a second successive defeat on the road and afterwards, Powell gave us his thoughts on the defeat in Yorkshire.
On the late defeat…
Story of our season. We’ve had two tough away games and we came here and were in the game. We managed exactly what Barnsley threw at us and I thought we put in a real dogged, proper away performance.
To lose a goal like that from a set play, where we’d dealt with them throughout the game, you’ve got to keep going until the final whistle. It’s a real dagger to the heart this one because a point away from home really would have set us up going into the two cup games before our next home [league] game, but sadly it wasn’t to be.
On Blues’ missed chances…
I keep saying it to the players, I’ve just said to them I sound like a broken record, some of our approach play from back to front is top drawer – it’s top League One standard – but we’ve got to take them [chances] or else you get hurt like we have done today.
I can’t keep saying it but it’s the truth. We had two efforts from Harry [Bunn] – a shot that went wide and a header that was saved – we broke really well and we had a disallowed goal. I think it’s [been given offside] because Simon [Cox] is nearer to the assistant referee than the defender and he’s given it, but it is extremely close and normally goes in your favour as a striker.
Then you think it looks like as it’s going to peter out at 0-0 but fair play to Barnsley, they kept going and it’s a Premier League delivery, let alone League One, from Alex Mowatt. He’s a good player, a wand of a left foot and [Kieffer] Moore steals in.
I stand here with a defeat and you can see on my face I’m hurting for the players and our supporters because I think we earnt the right to maybe take something from the game.
On the mood of his players…
They’re heartbroken because they’ve worked ever so hard. I can’t ask any more from them with regards to their work ethic and their character, and they show a lot of resilience these boys. We’ve had a few knockbacks already this year, but we’ve bounced back and we’re going to have to do it again.
It’s really tough to take but we now have Crawley and Southampton, two cup games, and we’ve got to use those as a springboard before we entertain Blackpool at home. We can’t dwell on what’s gone on before.
We all know what’s happened with regards to our squad, this is what we’ve got and this is what we’ve got to get on with, and the players know that I will back them and keep them going because we have to.
We’ll bounce back and that’s what we’ve got to do, that’s what we do at Southend: show a lot of resilience, a lot of character and that’s what we have to do.