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24 November 2020

Mark Molesley was left disappointed after a depleted Blues put in a battling display against Forest Green Rovers but fell to a 1-0 defeat at Roots Hall this evening.

Jake Young’s goal just after the hour mark was the difference for the visitors, linking up with his fellow substitute Aaron Collins to fire home the opener and ultimately the winner, as Southend fought hard but were unable to find an equaliser.

After the full-time whistle had blown, the Blues boss spoke to the press to give his assessment of the evening’s proceedings.

On the narrow defeat…

“I thought it was a battling performance. I thought we put up a good show and I thought the game plan was working really well. They’re a very good side – probably one of the better ones we’ve seen – and I thought we nullified them, we worked really hard and missed a couple of guilt-edged chances at vital times in the game.

“That just seems to be the story of our season, unfortunately, and we made a bit of mistake for their goal as well. The ball could have been cleared but it wasn’t, and we got punished for it. We’re learning some cruel lessons at the moment, but the squad is pretty much decimated at the moment.

“It’s been quite disrupted since our game at Walsall for obvious reasons and losing Tom Clifford as well literally as he walked in the changing room after the warm-up. Literally, as they were walking out, we made the change and that disrupts your set-plays and a few other things.

“These are only excuses, we put up a good battling performance and I’m disappointing we haven’t won because we’ve had some good chances, and I felt, for the most part, we executed our game plan really well.”

On the fight shown…

“I thought [Harry Kyprianou] showed some very good moments, put some great crosses in. It was a good battling performance from everyone.

“Everyone worked really hard tonight and you can see the boys, how much it means to them and how much they care and they’re working their socks off. Despite what’s happened in a disruptive week, everyone was in buoyant and it could have easily gone the other way. It hasn’t and we need to keep working hard and eradicate these mistakes and we’ve got to find some goals as well.

“We had a specific way that we wanted to do things tonight and I felt the lads executed it really well, which makes it frustrating because we’ve come so close.”

On bolstering the squad for Saturday…

“We’ll have to check the COVID rules as Saturday is two weeks. I’m hoping [they can return] because that’s three lads straight back in.

“Tom Clifford, we’ll have to see on that one, and then we’ve got other injuries, Kyle Taylor, and a few others as well.

“We’ve had to muddle through so far this season with a lot of injuries and a lot of things, and the fact that we’re still putting out competitive performances with so much going on is a positive sign. We desperately need those reinforcements back with games coming thick and fast.”

On potentially having fans back for the next home game…

“It’s massive. I’d like to think they’d see [what we’re doing] here and they’d be a little bit sympathetic with the injuries that are going on. But they can see a team out there working their socks off, giving everything they’ve got.

“We’ve got a young group learning their trade and it could all time in quite right that a few of our players come back, and then the fans come back, and the landscape looks so much different.

“I’ve got a clear picture as I work with these lads every day and we can see how good we can be, we’re very close. But we just need that rub of the green, getting that consistency into the team with team selection which we’ve never been able to do, as of yet. These hardships, we’ll be stronger for it when it does turn around, and it will.”

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