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Reaction: Campbell on Blues' defeat to Oxford

23 November 2019

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Southend were handed another tough defeat this afternoon, this time at the hands of Oxford United who run out 4-0 winners at Roots Hall.

The visitors capitalised on two defensive errors to take a 2-0 lead into the break with Matt Taylor scoring inside a minute before James Henry added a second.

Then two quick-fire goals from Taylor and Dan Agyei sealed the victory for Oxford, and after the full-time whistle had blown, boss Sol Campbell gave us his thoughts on the defeat.

On the defensive mistakes….

We’re obviously disappointed. I’m more disappointed that we gave the ball away with no pressure on the ball. We’ve got to start cutting those mistakes out because I don’t mind if a team cuts us open and scores amazing goals, but for us we’ve just got to look at ourselves.

We’ve got to see if we can eradicate this and work harder with our passing, our controlling, and also pressure with the ball. At that particular time, there was no pressure on Richard Taylor [for the first goal]. We can forgive him as he’s not that experienced, but we have to look at ourselves, as a team we’ve got to start cutting out these silly mistakes.

If the team that we’re playing against are going to score a goal, then they have to work for it. It was too easy. We have to look at our game, look at the details and cut those silly mistakes out.

We’ve got to learn as a team together – we have to win together, lose together. We’re better than that and I’ve seen that we’re better than that. We’ve gifted them at least two or three goals today. I wish the opposition could do that for us.

On where we go from here…

I think we have to play football. Those scenarios have happened, not because the opposition has done really well but because we’ve passed the ball to them in our box. That’s not changing our play, that’s individuals we’ve got to sort out and be more confident choosing the right option with passing the ball.

We had good possession, but sometimes we’ve just got to be a bit calmer under pressure and that’s what’s happened today. Oxford are flying, scoring goals up and down the country, they’re free-flowing and we’ve given them two or three goals.

We’ve got to get solid after it’s been very loose here. I’ve got to, not saying clean it up, but I’ve got to mend it, build it, cut it open and build again. We’ve got to do something as we can’t continue in this situation. Sometimes you’re stuck and I can’t do as much as I want to but I’ve got to make it work.

On a challenging job…

It’s a big challenge. I can’t wait for January to try and change it up a bit. I’ve got to make do and see if we can get results somehow in any way. We’ve got to push the boat out, try hard, try things, bust a gut, see if we can play in tight areas and gamble, and then defend properly.

Any job is tough, even if you’ve got tons of money, it’s tough. I think the main thing for me is I’ve got to turn it around; not only football-wise but I’ve got to turn it around in other areas. I’ve got to make guys believe they can win games. I’ve got to get the guys believing that we’ve got to keep on going.

Yes, it’s difficult because we’ve lost a lot of games this year, last year, and that’s how it is. We’ve got to start somewhere; we’ve got change it about, believe, keep on playing and go for it, and hopefully working hard it’ll come.

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