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Bond: "If we can’t keep a clean sheet we’re going to find it difficult"

27 April 2019

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Southend boss Kevin Bond was left frustrated as his Blues side fell to a 1-0 defeat on the road to Rochdale as their fight for survival goes down to the final day.

Ian Henderson’s solitary strike early in the second-half, tapping in the rebound after Ethan Hamilton’s effort had been saved by Mark Oxley, was enough for the Dale to wrap up the win.

That secured their safety, while Blues must wait a week longer to secure their fate and after the defeat, Bond gave his assessment of the afternoon.

On the defeat…

We didn’t really have many chances in the whole game, to be honest. Latterly when we went a goal behind, we had to open up a little bit and stretch the game, but there was nothing really in it. From our point of view, you’re always going to find it difficult if you can’t keep a clean sheet.

A poor lack of concentration leading up to giving away a corner which we didn’t need to and another one which they scored from was really unnecessary in a game that was always going to be one goal that decides it.

As we’ve shown before, it’s very difficult for us when we go behind but most of all if we can’t keep a clean sheet we’re going to find it difficult.

On a lack of chances…

They made it difficult for us, but we didn’t have enough presence up front and we had to change the way we played in the first-half.

It’s always a problem playing three at the back against full backs because you can’t get to them. We changed the way we play, got back in the game and looked more like it towards the end of the first-half.

We didn’t create as many chances as we’d like, I didn’t expect us to create that many, but we weren’t able to create as many problems as we would have wanted in truth.

Having said that, we just needed to keep it level and you get your chances. McLaughlin went through and is a hair’s breadth [offside] and he scores; games are decided on fine lines and for us, those fine lines haven’t been going for us.

On the changes made…

I thought Stephen Hendrie did well on the left-hand side. Played him at left wing-back and then I pushed him up the left-hand side and I thought he did ok. I wasn’t displeased with him at all.

I brought Luke Hyam back because of his experience and ability on the ball and [his injury] is hugely frustrating. Three or four times already in the time that I’ve been here, we’ve had to make early substitutions.

He’s got a hamstring injury. We were able to make on Monday against Burton tactical changes to try and effect what you can do in the game; instead 20 minutes in and it’s almost like fire fighting, using up your subs because somebody can’t continue, and that’s hugely disappointing.

On the travelling support…

Amazing, amazing. As much as anything you think, wow they’ve come all that way and that’s the big disappointment. If you could give them something to hang onto, a point, what a difference.

Coupled with a couple of points we had taken away from us a couple of games ago, what a difference that would make. But of our own making today, what a point that could have been. 

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