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Powell: "We looked afraid, we looked nervous and we shouldn’t be at home"

2 February 2019

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Blues boss Chris Powell was struggling to explain why his Southend side looked “edgy and nervous” as they succumbed to a 2-1 defeat at home against Bristol Rovers.

First-half goals from Liam Sercombe and Gavin Reilly were enough for the visitors, and despite Simon Cox’s goal before the interval, Blues were unable to force an equaliser.

Following the defeat – Southend’s ninth at home this season – Powell gave an honest assessment of his side’s disappointing afternoon at Roots Hall.

On the defeat…

I’ve been in the dressing room for quite a while because it was not acceptable, that first 25-30 minutes, and then all of a sudden we liven up and we are brave enough to pass, we’re brave enough to do all the things that I wanted to see and you get yourself back in it but we didn’t do it from the start.

We’re getting really edgy at home now and it’s understandable to a point but as I’ve said, if you start off right, if you start on the front foot the supporters go with you. It’s quite a simple equation.

I could have made changes way before half-time but Simon Cox gets a goal which didn’t change it, but I made two changes at half-time because I needed a response, which I got. It was hard, but I’ve got a small crumb of comfort in the response, but it wasn’t enough, and we’ve lost at home, again.

On the poor home form…

They [the fans] have every right to be unhappy. For us to be 2-0 down, it wasn’t good enough; simple facts, we weren’t good enough. We looked afraid, we looked nervous and we shouldn’t be at home.

Of course, we haven’t performed well enough at home for the majority of the season and they have every right to be frustrated. We need to be a whole lot better, not just a little bit, there’s a whole lot.

It’s not notorious for being [a place that’s] harsh on the players, but I’ve said to the players you have to accept it; I have to accept it. If you don’t perform, if you don’t do what the fans expect to see then you’re going to come in for criticism.

You’re at home, it should be your fortress, it should be where you’re happiest, it should be where you put other teams under pressure, but it seems to be the other way round for us at the minute and that’s not good enough for us.

On looking down rather than up the table…

For where we are in the table, you want to be looking up but we’re looking down. You’ve got to, there’s no ‘it’s going to be ok next week,’ you’ve got to.

I know there’s 16 games to go but that’s a lot of games and a lot of points, and it’s no good playing in spells, it’s no good having a 10-15 minute reaction, the game’s 90+ minutes.

We’ve got players that are learning the game, we’ve got other players not in form, some that are in form and it’s not a recipe for trying to get the result we want from games. We have to come through it, it’s no good just taking it and that’s it, we have to do something about it.

It’s so tight and so congested, people beating one another and drawing, and then all of a sudden you find yourself in an area you don’t want to be and that’s where we’re at tonight. 

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