Southend United were dumped out of the Emirates FA Cup at the First Round stage after a 1-0 defeat to National League side Dover this afternoon.
Ruel Sotiriou’s debut goal late on for The Whites sealed the victory for the non-league side who recorded their first win over a team from the third tier in their history.
Blues boss Sol Campbell gave his thoughts to the press after the defeat and pinpointed Southend’s wastefulness in the final third as a key reason for the cup exit.
On the Dover defeat…
Dover play their game, playing it up to the big guys upfront, but that was the only thing they really have. It was down to us to impose ourselves; it wasn’t like they were rushing us all over the pitch, we could play football but we didn’t play.
We had time and space and angles to play, but we didn’t play easy passes, we didn’t suck them in, we didn’t do the basics right. Yes, we had some chances, but we didn’t put our head on it, put our foot on it to connect right.
It’s the last thing, we’ve got to start connecting. We’re creating the chances but we’ve got to start connecting. It’s like we don’t want to score. It gives opposition hope and that’s what happens, it came back and bit us on the rear end.
On Blues’ lack of confidence…
This is 18 months to two years of football [that’s caused the low confidence] and we’ve got to change this as a team, and we will do that.
Today, you’ve got a chance to kill a team and move a team, and move their back four, play around the corner and play cleverly, and that hurts me even more when we do it in training, but we don’t transfer it into the game.
I see it happen in training so I know it can happen and today there was more space, and we don’t do it. I don’t understand if it’s a handbrake scenario. Is it a confidence thing? We’ve got to talk and work it out.
On having to move forward…
Yes, we’re getting better but we’ve got to really believe that we can win games. We’ve got to believe that we can score; it’s not like we’re not getting chances, we’ve got to believe that we’re going to score.
It’s a big job, I get that and we’re under no illusions, but today we had so many chances, so many times to play out, so many times to play through midfield and we just need that little bit of confidence, a bit more coaching, a bit more taking them through videos and we’ve got to grind through this.
Come January, we’re going to have to look at it as well. We need reinforcements, for sure, but there are still guys in there I know that can play football because we had so much space and time but we’re just not picking the right options or we’re scared.
When you lose like this you can learn a hell of a lot about yourself, about your personnel, how you react, how they come back from this, and now we’ve got to concentrate on the league.