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Powell: "We huffed and puffed but it was flat"

8 January 2019

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A dejected Blues boss spoke of his disappointment after seeing his Southend side dumped out of the Checkatrade Trophy following a 2-0 defeat at home to Portsmouth last night.

Pompey made 10 changes to the side that beat Norwich in the Emirates FA Cup but still managed to go in front after less than two minutes through Louis Dennis’ looping header. 

Gareth Evans’ thunderous striker in first-half stoppage time sealed Portsmouth’s passage into the last eight and after the match, Powell gave his thoughts on the defeat. 

On the Pompey defeat… 

It’s the worst possible start - we were flat and we looked rusty. We had the worst possible start and then we just couldn’t build up any true momentum to get ourselves in the game. There was the odd flash here or there, but it was very tough. 

They physically competed really well and it was hard for us to do anything in the first-half. To go in at 1-0 would have been helpful, but then they punched us in injury-time at the end of the first-half and that obviously brings a different complexion on it. 

We huffed and puffed but it was flat and we needed a spark. I know we need bodies, I think we need something just to spark us off – whether that’s a few new players or not – but we looked really flat tonight and our quality at times was poor. 

We had one or two chances and, even then, we’re not putting our foot through it, we’re not shooting, we’re not taking the chances that we’ve practised and that’s disappointing. Without a doubt, there’s no excuses from me, we need a response straight away on Saturday. 

On Taylor Moore’s injury… 

I haven’t spoken to the physio just yet, but it didn’t look great. Straight away Ben Clarkson said he had to come off and I think Taylor said he heard a tear. I really hope not but it didn’t look great. 

That’s always the balance in these games with regards to us wanting to have a competitively strong side and that’s why people like Timothee Dieng and Sam Mantom [were left on the bench] because I’m always worried you might lose someone and, sod's law, that’s what happens. 

I’m really disappointed with that and obviously disappointed with the whole evening. 

On the need to make transfers… 

There was always an urgency and we’ve known from December, even early November, we needed bodies but it’s quite a tricky market, January. [We’re] not close that they’re going to be here in the next day or two, but we’re going to have to speed things up. 

We’re going to have to try and get players that maybe weren’t our first or second choice, but we can’t wait forever. We have been told by a number of clubs, you’re going to have to wait, but it doesn’t look like we’re going to have to do that now, we’re going to have to be urgent in what we’re trying to do.

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