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Reaction: Powell on Frantic Gills Win

1 January 2019

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Chris Powell seemed a little embarrassed after running down the touchline celebrating Taylor Moore’s clincher in a controversial and frantic ending to Blues’ New Year’s Day win over Gillingham.

Sam Mantom had given Powell’s side the lead in the first-half but Gills thought they’d levelled only for Southend to break with Simon Cox teeing up Moore to grab a vital second in stoppage time. 

The goal saw Powell dancing up the touchline in celebration, joining his players, and after the dust had settled he spoke to the press about the 2-0 win at Roots Hall.

On the frantic final seconds…

It was a bit of a pantomime really at the end. We lose Theo – I thought that was cheap, not by him, I thought the referee could have carried on – so we knew we had to hang in and then comes the scramble.

We’re desperately trying to keep it out of our goal and I think there was a block and then Bish [Nathan Bishop] made a great save. I asked the linesman afterwards and he said he felt not the whole ball went over the line but you play to the whistle.

It wasn’t given, Bish has the ball in his hands, terrific throw to [Simon] Cox for us to break like that and then for Taylor [Moore] ends up being the one on the end of Simon’s pass.

Simon could have gone for it – I said in the dressing room well done to him because he could have wanted to be the hero – but Taylor gets it, I run up the line like an idiot and it’s a great day. What a way to start 2019.

On the derby day win…

It was a tough day, typical derby. I thought they settled quite well, and they play to their strengths and that’s obviously to the big man [Tom Eaves] up top for them and they did that pretty well.

We hung in there, we defended ok and we had fleeting moments, but I made a few changes and it’s worked out for us and another to-nil home win.

The players were running on empty near the end – Sam Mantom, Stephen Hendrie, Taylor Moore, Timothee Dieng, Theo Robinson, they’ve all played three games in six days. We’ve got another two home games now, Portsmouth in the Checkatrade on Tuesday so the players can really rest up and recover.

On Nathan Bishop…

Since I’ve been at the club I’ve been quite amazed by his mentality – how he trains, how he does his work with Lee Harrison and the other keepers – and we just felt, since I’ve been here, there’s a project there that we want to help grow.

I felt he wasn’t ready earlier on in the season. I didn’t want it to be a tough baptism for him and that’s why we brought in David Stockdale, but since then he’s quietly shown me, I’m going to be ready and I had no doubts this time to put him in.

He’s always had my full trust and, even though his first full game ended in defeat, I felt there were elements of his play that were fine so I left him in and he got his first clean sheet at Oxford. At Coventry, he was a bit unlucky to concede and he gets a clean sheet today, but he earned the clean sheet.

He made some good saves, his handling was good, he looked assured and I really hope he carries on in this same vein because it’ll give me a problem, but after his performance today he can be very proud of himself. 

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