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Powell: "Today really was our best performance of the season"

19 January 2019

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Chris Powell described Southend’s win at Bradford as their “best performance of the season” as they run out convincing 4-0 winners at the Northern Commercials Stadium this afternoon.

A superbly taken goal inside 75 seconds from Simon Cox set the tone before Sam Mantom scored with an equally impressive striker midway through the first-half.

Stephen Humphrys then marked his debut with a brace, including a delightful curling effort, to seal the points for Blues and after the game, a delighted Powell spoke to the press.

On the Bradford win…

I’m ecstatic. I think every manager will tell you, when you lose games like we did last week you take it personally and I always feel like I’ve let everyone down, so whenever you win a game, it’s a great feeling but when it’s away from home and when it’s four goals of real quality – sometimes they’re not all like that, but I’ve got to say that all four goals were brilliant.

We had a great start and that gets you in the game, but there were some pivotal moments: Sam Mantom’s goal was great, but the real pivotal moment today was Nathan Bishop’s save at 2-0. We knew Bradford would come out and react, and I’m sure David would have spoken to his team to react and get the crowd on your side, and they nearly did it so it was good for Bish.

From there it was all about Stephen Humphrys and I actually think our third goal was better than the fourth as he had a lot to do and he took it really well. He wanted to stay on for the hat-trick but the intensity of the game I thought would catch up on him and I want him fit and ready for next week. I said to him, I can’t apologise, I hope he can maybe go one further next week.

On Humphrys’ impact…

I don’t want to ever be disrespectful to any player, they’re all my players and I trust them, but sometimes you ask them to do a job that they really can’t do and sometimes they’ll manfully try but for the way we play, the way I want us to play, we’ve needed a presence.

I think bringing Stephen in – I only got confirmation this morning by the way that he could play, the EFL and the FA made sure it came through – I think it gave those front boys a lift but also showed them that I want more.

Steve came in and I told them the team at the hotel and Steve was magnificent. For a debut, you can’t ask for any more.

On finding that elusive consistency…

Today really was our best performance of the season, no doubt, but It’s hard because this league does test you in many ways. I thought we got our preparation right, our tactics right and the shape of the team right, but sometimes you can do all that work and it gets undone on matchday.

So all we can do is do that again. I’ve been to watch Luton last week and they’ve won well again today, they’re a tough side, but we should have good heart and we need to build. Just to get a bit of a run in this league is massive whether you want to be in the top six or you want to get away from the bottom four.

I’ll always endeavour to do my best for the team and for the club. We’ve had our down times, but we’ve won a lot of games and I know we’ve lost a few, maybe should have drawn a few more, but it’s about trying to just get going again and doing it week in week out.

It’s a clear week which does help, but as I’ve said to the staff and the players, enjoy the moment. It’s very rare you win away from home by such a big margin and let’s look forward to trying to replicate that in front of our fans at Roots Hall. 

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