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Reaction: Campbell on defeat to Burton

22 February 2020

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Southend United were dealt a fifth successive league defeat as they lost 3-2 to Burton Albion at Roots Hall this afternoon.

Blues went behind early through Lucas Akins’ strike before a bizarre equaliser occurred when Sam Mantom’s volley was deflected and the looping ball punched in by goalkeeper Kieran O’Hara.

Burton though scored twice in the second half to seal the win, despite a late John-Joe O’Toole own goal making for a tense final few minutes, and after the defeat, Sol Campbell gave his thoughts.

On the Burton defeat…

I think we started extremely slow early on and we couldn’t get out of the blocks. I was disappointed with that and it took a goal for us to wake up. We get the goal back, we’re on top, probing, had some really good chances but we’ve got to stick them away and take the game away from Burton in the first half.

First half was really good, but second half we took far too long to get back into the game and then they got their goals. I’m just saying to myself I don’t understand why we’re not in the right positions and giving really easy chances.

The main thing for me when we look back at the goals, we’ve just got to cut out the elementary ones. It’s not like they’re doing something amazing, they’re just putting the ball into a good area, we’re not covering properly or we’re giving the ball away on the 18-yard box – it’s elementary stuff.

It comes down to the players just being switched on and having that awareness of dangers, and sometimes it’s not there with some of the players. They’re working hard, but there’s limitations.

On falling away in the second half of games…

I don’t think it’s going too badly; we’ve just got to have that belief that we’re going to go out again and be solid as the first half.

It’s just the mindset really – sometimes it happens when we’ve not got enough experience on the field. We’re working hard in training, but it is what it is. I’ve given them days off; I’m not taxing them too much on stuff and I’m just giving them enough tactical stuff so that should not be tiring them out mentally.

Where we are in the league and, it’s not like it’s a secret, we’re down there for a reason because we’ve not won enough games throughout the whole season. You look at last season, we just stayed up due to goal difference, so it’s not rocket science or surprising to people.

On what he’ll be working on this coming week…

It’s all about [working on the] confidence really; picking the guys up and giving them the confidence. A little bit of tactical work as well, getting a little bit of fun into our training and allowing them to be free once the next game comes around.

I’d rather the guys go out and just go for it, work hard, defend well, bodies on the line, try to work one-twos, third-man runs – that’s what I want. Forget what happens at the end of the season, I want every match or every time someone comes off the bench to make an impact – that’s what I want.

Yes, it’s difficult with the situation and not everyone’s got that mentality and I’ve got to deal with what I’ve got here. I’ve not brought in anyone; this is the team I’ve inherited and I’ve got to do the best with it.

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