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Reaction: Molesley on Millwall test

29 August 2020

Blues boss Mark Molesley felt his Blues side got “exactly what we needed” out of this afternoon’s pre-season friendly which saw Southend lose 3-0 to Championship side Millwall.

Superb strikes from former Blues player Ryan Leonard and Ben Thompson put the Lions 2-0 up before on-loan Tottenham striker Troy Parrott rounded off the scoring in the second-half.

Molesley was pleased though with the run-out as Southend continued to up their fitness levels ahead of their first competitive game in the Carabao Cup against Gillingham next weekend.

On the latest pre-season game…

It was exactly what we needed: a good, tough, thorough examination against a very good Millwall side and I think you can see that they are a bit further along in their project than us at the moment, but that’s to be expected. They had a fantastic campaign last season and you can probably see that their fitness and sharpness is more there because they played 10 Championship games not long ago.

On the whole, there’s a lot of positives to take from the game and some areas for improvement. That is what we want, we want a tough and thorough examination. We’re on that road to constantly look for self-improvement and we’ve certainly got some areas that we can enjoy working on and embrace that challenge.

The higher up you go the more ruthless it is, and they certainly showed that. Their first two strikes were fantastic, but we’ll always look at ways that we can hopefully stop that. We can’t take away the quality they possess but at the same time we’re only concerned about ourselves and we’ll look at ways to combat that.

On the positives to take away…

There are plenty of positives to take: 75 minutes to start – the lads are building their match-fitness and they’re trying to do the right things; their reactions to things, for example, they went 2-0 down and could have folded but they didn’t. They kept trying to be brave, play and implement some of the things we’ve been working on and you can see that out there.

Millwall weren’t going to make it easy for us and that’s the challenge we want at the moment. We want to be challenged, we want to be exposed to everything so we know what we can improve on.

The lad’s attitude and application again was fantastic, and as long as they keep showing that and showing that will to want to get better then we’re on the right path.

On Harry Lennon and Jason Demetriou…

Hopefully it’s only precautionary for Harry. He’s just had a real tightness at the front of his calf. He felt it a little bit during training yesterday and it just locked his foot up a little bit, but I think it’s more just a little bit of over tightness.

You’ve got to remember he’s one that’s had a tough time with injury and with the period out and all of a sudden a lot of football coming into his body again, he just needs to get that balancing act right and hopefully, that’ll just settle down and it’s not too serious.

[Jason is] resting his knee at the moment. It’s been a long period out for everyone, but Jason’s got an on-going knee issue which needs to be managed and today was a time to manage it.

On final pre-season preparations…

We’ve got another game on Tuesday night so we’ll probably flip the situation that we done today and get the minutes so that everyone arrives at Gillingham, hopefully, with similar minutes in the bank and then we’ll look at how we’ll prepare for Gillingham.

It’s a cup game, our first competitive game together, then we face West Ham and then Harrogate, so they’re coming thick and fast. Plenty of games, lots to sink our teeth into and lots to work towards.

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