Blues boss Chris Powell reflected on a difficult night at the Keepmoat Stadium, acknowledging that his side simply lost to the better team following a 3-0 defeat against Doncaster Rovers.
A bright start from Southend counted for nought as John Marquis headed the home side in front before second-half goals from Mallik Wilks and Herbie Kane made the points safe.
Rovers’ win extended their unbeaten run against Southend to nine matches while Blues are now without a win in their last four and after the game, Powell gave his thoughts to the press.
On the Doncaster defeat…
It’s the story of our season: starting off well and having the ball in good areas, having the ascendency and putting the home team on the back foot, but then, you have to mark and keep marking until the ball is dead.
You can’t leave John Marquis – a top striker at this level – free on his own in the middle of the goal, you just can’t do it. 1-0 down and you’re chasing the game and we’re not that sort of side; we need to be in the game and try and edge ourselves in front because whenever we go behind and chase we’ve found it tough this year.
We’re chasing the game and at 1-0 at half-time you think ok. There was an enforced change with Michael Turner for John White and we were just about to make another change, then they score a goal – 2-0 and it’s very tough.
They’re a good team, I’m going to deny that, and there’s no excuses like they were lucky. We’ve been beaten by the better team and I’m quietly pleased it was only three because Nathan Bishop made some good saves, they hit the woodwork a couple of times and it could have been a real ugly night. It’s still a difficult night anyway but, fair and square, we’ve been beaten by a good Doncaster Rovers team.
On taking the run-in game by game…
It’s the final third, it’s the run-in; 14 games to go and we have to take it game by game. You can’t think any further than Portsmouth and the Sky cameras will be in town, we’ve just got to pick up points where we can.
It’s a big game Saturday in respect to who we’re playing against, the cameras and we’ve just got to look for our players to do the best to take something from it. Sometimes the pressure is more on them because people will be expecting them to get the result and it’ll be up to us to turn that in our favour.
We know how tight it is and we know that with the remaining games we have to take a certain amount of points from them, so we have to move on from this evening and look at Portsmouth and say bring it on, turn up and do our best to get three points.
On more injury concerns…
It looked like John White’s made that kind of injury [groin or abdomen] from an awkward pass or clearance, but he was in real pain. Whether that’s yet another one out for the weekend I don’t know.
Harry Lennon is not really at full fitness, although at one point I was going to bring him on with 15 minutes to go to sure it up to make sure we didn’t concede, but really we can’t afford any more injuries.
He [Lennon] now comes well into the equation for Saturday, but we are really light now and I don’t know what 18 I’ll have for Saturday.