Chris Powell was keen to ensure that Southend’s spirited late fightback didn’t mask what had been a “tough day” for Blues as they ended the afternoon on the end of a 3-2 defeat against Plymouth.
Goals from Antoni Sarcevic, Freddie Ladapo and Ruben Lameiras looked to have sealed Argyle the points before a Simon Cox penalty and a wonder goal from Charlie Kelman made for a nervy finish.
The comeback though was too little too late for Southend to salvage anything and after the full-time whistle, the Blues boss gave us his thoughts on the afternoon.
On the Argyle defeat...
It’s almost as if something has to happen to spark us off. I’ve been asking them to try and spark themselves off, be on the front foot from the beginning, but the boys look edgy and if you go a goal behind it’s even harder.
What I didn’t like today was conceding that second goal, because that shouldn’t happen in respect of it is 2-v-1 – two centre-halves that I want to deal with the centre forward and in two minutes of the second half we’re 2-0 down and it’s an uphill battle.
3-0 down, sloppy goal and you think the game’s over but all of a sudden you get a penalty, we score a wonder goal and Plymouth are panicking and we’re on the front foot but you need to do that from the start.
The fans, they’re going to want to see more, I have to take responsibility because I’m the manager but it’s always change – we lose Harry Bunn, another change – and it’s just constant. It has been frustrating, it has been difficult, it has been really hard for us.
Even when we win it’s always quite tough, but we know it’s like that at this level, but the difference is we just cannot get it right at home consistently enough for us to try and get anywhere.
On picking a consistent side…
We’re in a difficult place in regards to trying to put out a team, trying to have a bit of consistency and rhythm and it’s very hard for us because all that ever happens for us is we settle down, we might win a game and then we lose someone.
It’s doubly frustrating to try and bring people in because we know where we’re at with regards to our squad and my team. You’re putting in players that you encourage but it’s going to be tough for them because there’s so many scenarios they haven’t been through.
We’re asking a lot of [Nathan] Bishop, of Elvis [Bwomono], of Stephen Hendrie, Dru [Yearwood] – people expect a lot of him and he’s only 18 - as I’ve always said, we have to get on with it, but it makes it even harder.
I know it’s January, I know we’re actively trying to bring people in, but that’s been tough as well. I’ve lost out on a few players, young Charlie [Kelman] gave us a spark today, but I think we need more [players]. I can’t be relying on a 17-year-old week in week out, but what I can do is encourage him to come in and play his part like he did today and I’m sure he will in the future as well.
On Charlie Kelman’s goal…
I don’t want it to mask what was a tough day, but if you want to take something from today it would be that [goal]. He’s a young talent, he’s trained with us, we’ve had him in and around the group training and we all like him.
As it seems at the minute, we’re having to put out a patchwork team, a patchwork squad full of young players who will either get up to the rhythm and the pace of it or find it a bit difficult. He was a real livewire for us and obviously he’s scored a wonderful goal which is the only positive memory that I have of today