Blues boss Sol Campbell was delighted to get his first win as Southend manager under his belt following a 3-1 victory over AFC Wimbledon in the Leasing.com Trophy.
Goals from Nathan Ralph and Ethan Hamilton – their first for the club – sent Blues into the break 2-1 up before Tom Hopper’s predatory finish secured the win at Roots Hall.
And after the final whistle had blown, Campbell spoke to the press to give his thoughts on the win.
On what pleased him most…
The passing [pleased me most]. There was no fear, just passing and supporting each other, making sure there are angles, and we just played with the handbrake off. There was a marked difference from the weekend.
Yes, people say it’s a dead rubber and things like that, but for me, it was more a point to prove that the guys can pass and want to keep the ball and score some goals, and we did. The main thing is the passing, the no fear and passing with purpose as well.
I wanted them to not just go through the motions. There was a bit of pride in there, a bit of getting the FA Cup defeat out of the system, and I think they had to show a little bit to the fans as well.
It’s a long road now, but it’s a good start for us to get this win under our belts and hopefully we can kick on. It’s a long road and there’s a lot more that we’ve got to do to start pushing up the table but it’s a great start for us.
On Nathan Ralph’s goal…
He’s in the right place and that’s what happens – if you don’t buy a ticket, you don’t win the jackpot. He let it fly and it nestled in the bottom corner which is great for us.
He’s played well and, since I’ve been here, he’s been fantastic, so I’m glad for him. We were obviously going to have a good night when someone scores with his [weaker] right-foot. It’s a good lift for everybody.
We started off well, but the main thing for me was we started in a good position and we wanted to play football. I said it doesn’t matter what happens today, we’ve got to see what we can do – don’t be frightened to play in those pockets and ask questions of the opposition.
The main thing is we’re playing football and having no fear. Don’t worry about what’s happening, don’t worry about where we are in the league, it’s all about performances now.
On Richard Taylor’s debut…
I think he played excellently. Really good on the ball and he can only get better.
He’s got to get a bit sharper when it gets a bit tight; sometimes the forwards tried to shut him down so he just needs to do things a little bit earlier, but that’ll come with the more games he plays and he realises you’ve got to move the ball a bit quicker.
Other than that, coming forward, he passed really well, he was confident on the ball, got some really good defensive headers away and he had a really good debut. He should be happy with that.