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27 October 2020

Southend boss Mark Molesley remained defiant after Blues lost 2-1 at home to Oldham Athletic this evening with a late Zak Dearnley goal stealing all three points for the visitors.

After a quiet first half bereft of chances, Bobby Grant put Oldham in front just after the interval with a simple finish before Tom Clifford scored his first senior goal to level it up with a superbly taken free-kick.

But as Blues pushed for a winner, they were caught on the break after losing the ball in midfield allowing Dearnley to go clean through, round Mark Oxley and score the winner for The Latics, and after the full-time whistle at Roots Hall, the Southend boss gave his thoughts on the defeat.

On the late defeat...

“There’s no hiding from it, it’s tough times at the moment and we’ve got to dig deep.

“We’ve been sucker-punched a couple of times. We had a lot of the ball tonight and we did create some chances, but not enough. It was an error in possession as we went for that winner. We were trying to win the game and, unfortunately, we’re getting harshly punished. We have a little slip, or something is not quite on and it seems to go against us at the moment.

“I do sound like a broken record, but we can’t feel sorry for ourselves. We’ve got to keep working and keep believing. It is tough when you lose, there’s no hiding from that, no dodging that, and we’ve got to be better in both boxes. The last two games, we’ve had large spells of possession and created quite a bit but not enough from our standing.”

On Clifford’s free-kick…

“Fantastic strike from Tom Clifford, great technique and it really buoyed us and it kicked us on again, and we really went for that winner.

“We hit the bar, we had another couple of chances and it was our quest to get that winner that left the back door open a little bit and we were cruelly punished.”

On the need for characters in the dressing room…

“There are characters in there and this experience will also make characters. We’ve got to keep believing and we’ll come out the other side and we’ll be stronger for it.

“We’ve got to back to work as quickly as we can, lick our wounds and come out fighting. It’s always difficult, it’s always going to hurt. That never changes and is never going to change. Losing football matches turns your stomach but it’s time to stand up and be counted now.”

On Nathan Ralph’s scan…

“Unfortunately, we’ve lost Nathan for the season so that’s a real bitter blow for us.

“Nathan’s been fantastic for us since we’ve walked in the door – a fantastic player and fantastic person. We really wish him well and a speedy recovery.

“We really wish he was with us as he’s a pivotal part of our plans and unfortunately we’re going to be missing him as well. He’s going to join Lewis Gard in needing surgery.”

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