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Powell: "Even though it was a tough game, we’ve been beaten by a set-play and that’s it"

26 January 2019

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Chris Powell was left disappointed after Matty Pearson’s header condemned Southend to a 1-0 defeat against Luton Town at Roots Hall this afternoon.

The centre-half’s header, just shy of the half-hour mark, was enough for Luton to go two points clear at the top of the table as Blues failed to build on last weekend’s win at Bradford.

And after the match, the Southend boss gave his assessment of the defeat to the Hatters who extended their unbeaten league run to 16 matches.  

On the Luton defeat…

We played a very good side and we were prepared for it, but you can see why they are where they are and I felt, even though it was a tough game, we’ve been beaten by a set-play and that’s it.

We were ultimately beaten by a good ball in and one of our defenders not marking Pearson. So it’s an uphill struggle, it’s a tough game with a few chances for us but I felt we just needed to have a bit more devilment in that final third and maybe our final ball was lacking.

We didn’t fashion as many chances as we would have liked, but we had to be on our guard defensively today. Nathan Bishop made some good saves, especially one at the start of the second half which kept us in the game, and we were always in the game, and I just wanted us to have a few more efforts.

I think [Simon] Cox’s strike with his left foot was well saved by [James] Shea, but I just felt we could have done that a bit more, but we knew it was going to be a tough game. You take the set-play out, even if you’re under the cosh, you take a 0-0 but unfortunately for us we don’t do many draws.

On Blues’ consistent inconsistency…

Whenever we’ve lost a game, we’ve bounced back to win one, but that’s the frustrating thing. We’d like to follow-up a win with another positive result – whether it’s a win or a draw – and then you go again and try and get a winning run going, but we just haven’t been able to do that at all.

It has been real stop-start for us. I was hoping to have the same team again this week, then we get an injury during the week, we lose another player and that does stop you trying to get that consistency.

You get the same players out there that know one another, get used to one another; then you have to make another enforced change and it’s just hard for us in that respect. There’s not much you can do about it other than prepare the players that do get the shirt, for them to go again and that’s what we’ll have to do next week.

On Southend’s injury problems…

Whenever I go in [to the training ground] I just hope I’ll be able to move the names from the injured list to the available for training/playing list and it just seems to be growing.

12 players today unavailable and we’re playing young Nathan Bishop and Elvis Bwomono consistently, Dru Yearwood, Charlie Kelman’s on the bench, Isaac Hutchinson’s on the bench, Michael Klass – it’s hard.

And I know people expect us to be the same but when you’re up against an experienced side, a side that has consistency in choosing a regular starting line up, we’re up against it. But I’ve got to commend the players all the time for how they compete, how they get up against the opposition.

We played a team that hasn’t changed since the manager’s gone, where I can’t tell you the last time I chose the same 11. I always say to the players, you’re here to play so whether you’re experienced or not experienced, sometimes just go out there, compete, do what you do best and see where it takes you. 

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