Kevin Bond felt his Blues side got the win they “deserved” and that he was relieved to have helped save Southend from relegation to League Two with a 2-1 win over Sunderland at Roots Hall.
Stephen Humphrys’ goal three minutes from time was the difference after Chris Maguire’s penalty had cancelled out John White’s earlier effort.
The final whistle saw a flood of Blues fans invade the pitch in celebration and after the dust had settled on a dramatic afternoon, Bond spoke to the press to give his thoughts on the day.
On getting over the line…
My feeling is just one of relief, as you might imagine, really. It was nail-biting stuff the last quarter of an hour, but we managed to do it.
Overall, I think we certainly deserved the win. I thought we played excellent in the first-half and should have been more in front. We expected them to come at us in the second-half, and they did, and we found it really difficult to hang on to them for a while.
They got the goal, then we came again. We had to take a chance and played two up front and just changed the momentum of the game slightly. We got the one chance that we needed and we got the goal that we deserved, and the win that we deserved, but it wasn’t easy.
On the match winner…
He’s a presence and people will be aware of him and his capabilities. He had a horrific injury and was medically unable to do anything for five weeks; he wasn’t able to train, he done nothing.
As soon as I came here, he come to me as soon as he got the all clear to start training and put himself forward to play or come on, which I did against Fleetwood and it was great of him to do it. But what I realised after bringing him on at Fleetwood was that he was miles away from where he needed to be, and I think it was a bit of a shock to him also. It was very noble of him but he was just miles away and not ready.
We decided that we would keep him training, get him working on his fitness, get him involved as much as he can but he was never really going to start for us because we knew he wouldn’t be able to last a game, and we would use him if we needed him.
We put him on the bench today because we had Harry Bunn injured and didn’t have another striker and we needed him in the last quarter of an hour, so it was great that he kept himself in good nick and ready to play.
On keeping the Blues up…
In circumstances like this, it’s every bit as satisfying keeping a team in the league as it is getting them out at the other end of the league.
It’s that important and I recognised that for the club and the support. The support today has been fantastic, properly fantastic. The away games I’ve had here, we’ve out sung everyone that we’ve been at and they’ve been brilliant, and we’ve needed it and it’s helped us.
For the club and everybody, it was vital to stay in the league but nobody has a divine right, but we managed to do it.
On his future…
I love doing my job, I enjoy doing it and I need to speak to the Chairman and see what his feelings are about it.
My brief when I came here was, Kevin we just need to try and stay in the league and that has absolutely been the only thing I’ve focused on.
I’ve not spoken about next year or anything at all, because we need to see where the club is. Now we know where we are, we’re going to have to sit down and have a discussion at some point which I’m sure we’ll have in the next couple of days.