Mark Molesley said it was another tough one to take for his Blues side who put in an improved performance against Tranmere but still left empty-handed after a 2-0 defeat.
A powerful header from former Southend defender Peter Clarke put the home side in front just after the half-hour mark at a sodden Prenton Park before a deflected James Vaughan strike in the second-half put pay to Blues’ search for a first win of the campaign.
And after the full-time whistle had blown on the afternoon’s proceedings, Molesley spoke to the press to give his thoughts on a third successive defeat for his Southend side.
On the Tranmere defeat…
“It’s another tough one. We started off really well, really brightly and it was all us dominating the game. They’ve made two substitutions to change everything because we were causing that many problems. We didn’t get the breakthrough, their goalkeeper has made a couple of good saves, good blocks and from a free-kick we’ve switched off again, unfortunately.
“That was our downfall against Salford. I thought we started brightly at Salford as well and [Tranmere] got their goal in a similar fashion as today. We’re getting punished by our errors at the moment, harshly punished. But we’ve got do better in those situations because at the moment that’s been our downfall. We switched off momentarily, lost out man and they’ve scored.
“Their tails are up a little bit and we’ve huffed and puffed, and we were working and trying to probe and play, and then the cruel deflection again [for the second goal]. The boys can be forgiven for feeling sorry for themselves, thinking they were up against it, but they didn’t. They kept battling, kept probing but at 2-0 you can see they wanted to close the game off. We’ve got close on a couple of occasions, but they’ve had a stubborn defence in the end.”
On the need to cut out mistakes…
“There were good parts on Tuesday – we started really brightly in that one, but the goals are killing us at the moment. We’ve got to stamp that out, we’ve got to learn quickly, and we know that.
"You cut out those small, little mistakes and we were the team most likely to score out there today, and the fact they made two substitutions so early in the first-half showed where we were going. It’s another tough one to take and we’ve got to be strong now.
“We created a lot of chances but again, it seems like they’re blocking and stopping, and a couple of our blocks are deflecting in. It’s a tough time for everyone at the moment but we’ve got to stand up and be counted.”
On what’s needed to improve…
“We just need to keep believing in ourselves. We had a lot of chances and had a lot of possession today, and I thought we made them work really hard. Ultimately, the more chances you create the more goals you’re going to score, but we need to make more chances and keep practising to try and do that. We’ve got to keep believing in the process, keep picking ourselves up and keep driving forward.
“It’s a young team out there. Let’s not forget that, it’s a very young team. We started the season with seven senior pros injured, a couple of them are starting to come back now but we’re still five down with five injuries.
“We’re all learning on our feet, we know we’ve got to learn quickly, but there are enough good signs there that we are playing some good stuff, we’re just not quite being clinical enough in both boxes. That’s what football is about.”