Blues boss Kevin Bond pulled no punches in his assessment of Southend’s 2-0 defeat against Wycombe Wanderers, saying the performance “surprised” him.
Adebayo Akinfenwa’s brace inside three second-half minutes was enough to end the Chairboys’ winless run but left Blues fighting it out towards the bottom of the table.
And after all was said and done at Roots Hall, the Southend boss spoke to the press and gave his honest assessment of the defeat to Gareth Ainsworth’s side.
On the performance…
It was hugely disappointing and it surprised me as well. Off the back of a good display last week where the lads applied themselves really well, fought for everything and showed all the right attributes, I don’t think we showed anywhere near enough of them today.
In truth, I thought Wycombe outfought us, outworked us, won all second balls, won all first balls, showed a greater desire for the situation that they’re in than we did.
On the impact of the first goal…
I thought the performance was unacceptable before [the first goal]. I thought they were better than us in the many aspects of the game; running balls down, their workload was better than ours, they were after us more than we were after them.
I thought they were winning the bits and pieces, and in the end, they wore us down. We made a mistake and they scored a goal. You could see how it was going.
I say we were fortunate there was nothing in the first-half but we came in at half-time and said that we needed to do things quicker. We’re at home, we’re not playing for a draw, we’re playing for a win, we’ve got to speed things up, do things a little bit better and a little bit quicker.
You’ve got to earn the right to play, teams aren’t just going to let you play, you’ve got to earn the right to play and we spoke about that at half-time coming in. In truth we weren’t, we still got outfought, still got outworked.
On troubles at home…
Whether playing at home becomes heavy on the player, it may well be, but it is what it is and we’re playing at home in front of our crowd and our performances have to lift them.
They’ll go away accusing our players of not applying themselves well enough and not giving everything, and quite rightly because I thought we got outfought today.
I hadn’t seen [that performance coming]; I hadn’t seen it in training, I hadn’t seen it in the performance last week. I thought we applied ourselves well, equipped ourselves well at Fleetwood last week, whether playing at home has anything to do with that, I’m not sure, but that’s no excuse.
On needing to show character…
They’ve all got to be strong enough characters to deal with that but that has to stop. It’s not about a system, it’s not about who you play, we need to go about it in a certain way.
We played today like we were doomed. It was that type of accepting the situation and Wycombe were not accepting the situation that they found themselves in. They were out there doing something about it.
I see that today for the first time and we can’t have that anymore, so it’s not about how you play, what you play or who you play. It’s about how you go about it, whoever those 11 players are.
That’s your starting point, that’s your base and then you play your football and do your stuff, but teams aren’t just going to let you knock the ball around, you’ve got to earn the right to play.