Southend boss Kevin Bond felt he learnt a lot from his side’s opening day defeat to Coventry City at Birmingham’s St. Andrew’s Trillion Trophy Stadium.
A solitary goal from Zain Westbrooke turned out to be enough for the Sky Blues, but Southend had three great headed chances towards the end of the game to grab a deserved equaliser.
After the final whistle, Bond spoke to the press to give his thoughts on the afternoon and how he felt the debutants played, while also giving us an update on the future of Dru Yearwood.
On the defeat…
It was a game of two halves and we were slow out of the blocks in the first-half.
We’ve been pleased with them in pre-season in terms of trying to be brave and be on the ball, pass the ball, move the ball quickly, but we didn’t retain the ball anywhere near as well as we wanted to do in the first-half and kept giving the ball away which makes it makes it very difficult for you.
We didn’t retain possession at all, never strung many passes together, went long when we didn’t need to and we needed to be brave and take more responsibility on the ball. We did that in the second-half and changed the shape, which helped us.
In the end, we were unfortunate to not at least get something from the game with a couple of the chances that we had.
On the change of shape…
[Simon Cox] came into the game off the back of a day and a halves training, so we knew he couldn’t figure until the last period of the game, but his know-how and his ability to retain the ball made a big difference for us because that was the thing we were lacking.
When we changed the shape and we put two up front, that made a difference to us. But within that shape, the personnel – as in Simon Cox and Stephen Humphrys – retained the ball better.
As a team, we retained the ball better and then they sat off us, and we started to impose ourselves on the game in the second-half and we were unlucky not to come away with something in the end.
I learnt a bit from the game, obviously I’m disappointed, but the last half-hour I thought we did really well.
On the debutants…
I thought [Nathan Ralph] grew into the game. To be fair to them, Brandon [Goodship] was making his debut at this sort of level – he’s done great pre-season but it wasn’t his ideal position.
Nathan Ralph has been up in Scotland and come down, so has Joe Shaughnessy, so there were a few people in there making their debuts…I thought all of those boys grew into the game and got better as we got better.
On Dru Yearwood’s future…
I heard last night that there was some interest from another club and I’ll have to wait and see what’s happened, if anything, when I get a chance.
He never travelled with us, as you know, he wasn’t in the squad and I’ll have to find out what the situation is as soon as I get a chance.