Sol Campbell’s tenure as Blues boss started with a 3-1 defeat at home to promotion-chasing Ipswich Town this afternoon at a wet and windy Roots Hall.
James Norwood scored early on to give the visitors the lead before doubling their advantage midway through the second-half with his second of the game.
Kayden Jackson grabbed a third for Town, with Emile Acquah’s first senior goal a mere consolation for Southend, and after the game, Campbell gave his assessment of the performance.
On the defeat…
There was a lot of positives. I think for us, we started off really well. We should have had the goal [from Rob Kiernan] as it was onside. He’s come off, come back, whipped it in and he’s level – that would have been a fantastic start.
That’s how it goes sometimes. When you’re down at the bottom sometimes you don’t get the rub of the green. Yes, they scored their first goal and we should have been a little tighter, probably a lack of communication there which we’ll get better at for sure. And their second one, a ricochet has fallen right for him and he’s gone on with a nice little cut back – what can you do about that?
The main thing for us is that we got a goal with good play and they didn’t give up. That’s the main thing for me. They didn’t throw in the towel, they kept on going and that pleased me a lot, and they gave everything.
On Acquah’s goal and Blues’ fitness…
Fantastic play [for the goal] but we got into positions like that before and just didn’t get the right pass. For me, it’s great for him to come in and score and Nathan Ralph with a fantastic cross.
That will happen, the more we get fit the more we start playing how we want to play and get the right kind of consistency. For me, the team has to get fitter for sure and once they get fitter, they’ll make fewer mistakes and it’ll start happening.
When you look at it, we could have done better with all the goals but that last goal we should have been livelier. But that’s because fitness-wise when you’re not as fit, the mind goes, then you start making mistakes. Once that gets better, I’m not saying we’ll have no goals against us, but at least the other team will have to work harder to score goals.
On having belief…
We need points, but the main thing for me is the performances. There were some really good performances out there considering the last game against Doncaster.
I believe in the guys. I’ve got great belief in them and I know they can get out of this. I know they can get fitter and once they get fitter, then we’ll see the true level.
Then when they’re playing in difficult games, they can compete and go toe-to-toe; toe-to-toe not just for 60-70 minutes but to 90 minutes, and that’s key for me. Go toe-to-toe and push the opposition all the way and I think that hasn’t happened for a long time.