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12 December 2020

The Southend United boss was full of praise for his Blues side who picked up a huge three points in a 1-0 win against Scunthorpe United this afternoon.

James Olayinka’s second of the season, and first at Roots Hall, 10 minutes from time capped off a dogged display in front of 2,000 returning Blues fans that got right behind them from minute one and carried them through to the victory.

And after the full-time whistle had gone in Essex, Molesley was quick to praise the players and the fans as Southend picked up their second clean sheet in a row and their first home win of the campaign.

On the returning fans…

“That win was for the players, they won the game – when they lose it’s my fault, when they win it’s theirs – and the fans. That was the difference, the players and the fans.

“That was a real game of football today. It felt like the first game of the season. Our season starts today and it was fantastic. [The fans] pushed us on, they were that 12th man and what a difference they made, and they pushed the boys because we’ve got lads out there who haven’t played for a long time.

“But the strength in depth of that squad I had today, that’s the strongest we’ve been able to field all season. We always had that vision, we always knew that we could be competitive, we were just waiting for the players to come back fit and for our fans to come back.”

On a huge three points…

“After a win, there’s always relief. We know it hasn’t been the best of starts and it’s been tough circumstances. We’re bitterly disappointed with where we are in the division and we’re working hard to fix that as quick as we can.

“I certainly think you saw a strong, tough performance; we were hard to beat and yes, we weren’t great on the ball at times, but where we are the moment we’re battling and showing those qualities.

“We’re not out of the game, we’re always in the game, and we managed to find that goal at the right time. We’ve got to be hard to beat, we’ve got to be resolute, we’ve got to be digging in and fighting, and we showed all of those characteristics and have been for the last month now.

“We’re starting to build some results, and even the Forest Green and Bolton games, we were well in those games, but you’ve seen the difference today.”

On the embargo being lifted…

“It probably got heightened because of the amount of injuries we had to so many key players, but they’re now starting to come back, coupled with the embargo being lifted.

“The chairman’s done fantastic for us in lifting that in really tough, challenging times out there. There’s no money coming into this football club and he’s cleared a very big bill because he cares deeply out this football club.

“We speak all the time, we share the same vision, the same work ethic for this club. I know people get impatient because they’re not here and they’re not seeing the work at the moment because they’ve been shut out because of Covid-19. We’ve desperately missed [the fans] and we’re glad they’re back; we’re glad the embargo has gone, we’ve got more availability, players are coming back so things are looking better.”

On Akinola, Hart and Acquah…

“You’ve got to give [Akinola and Hart] a pat on the back, they’ve both done 60 minutes and 75 minutes for Hart which is a great effort – you can train until the cows come home, but match fitness is that unmeasurable, fitness you can’t quite recreate.

“They dug in for the team, as did all the players. I don’t normally single players out, but I thought Emile Acquah led that line for us; at Stevenage last week he was excellent, and he’s done it again today, at 20-years-old playing against experienced defences, by himself, working hard.

“He’s learning very quickly, and I thought he was excellent and led that line well. I thought it was a gritty team performance and that’s what we’re going to need.”

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