Southend United’s shortened pre-season campaign has come to an end as a youthful Blues side lost 3-0 to National League South side Concord Rangers on Tuesday night.
Three goals inside the first 12 minutes put pay to Mark Molesley’s travelling Blues but the Southend boss felt his side will have learnt plenty of lessons from the defeat.
After the full-time whistle had blown, Molesley gave his thoughts about the game at the Aspect Arena before looking ahead to this weekend’s Carabao Cup tie with Gillingham.
On the Concord Rangers defeat…
"You want to learn these lessons in pre-season and we definitely don’t want to hide from them. We set high standards and sometimes when you set them high standards you’ve got to learn from mistakes and learn from these experiences.
"These are tough places to come to and we’ve learnt some valuable lessons tonight. There was a very youthful look to us tonight and sometimes some naivety, but as long as we can learn from that we can hopefully use this to continue to get better.
"The attitude and application has been fantastic from the lads. That youthful side have shown so much so far against tough opposition like Charlton and Millwall. I think they’ve really equipped themselves well and they’ve got to know that different challenges await them, and they’ve got to deal with all the challenges that are thrown at them.
"We’ve probably shown a little lack of experience and naivety at times but they continue to do the right things – I think the second half performance showed that – but we’ve certainly learnt some valuable lessons. We want to set high standards, and there will be high standards, but sometimes we need to learn from these experiences to get to them."
On the progress made in pre-season…
"A lot is being thrown at them at the moment and a lot is going on – a new regime and lots of hard training – and sometimes there’s going to be a couple of dips where you’re trying to take on board and apply what we’re throwing at them at the moment and sometimes it's just the execution of it.
"There was a little bit of naivety and lack of execution in some of our processes tonight, but that will come in time. We’re two-and-a-half weeks in at the moment and we can’t slow up. It’s full-throttle at the moment and they’re going to have to rest up tomorrow because it’s going to be hard again on Thursday and we’re going to be prepping and working as hard as we can and looking to improve.
"It was a great work out tonight, this is a very tough place to come and they certainly challenged us and asked a lot of questions, and we’ve got to come up with some better answers."
On Gillingham this Saturday…
"I think we will try and be as ready as we can. It’s not an ideal situation but, as I’ve said before, it’s not an ideal world out there at the moment. This pre-season is short and games are going to come thick and fast, and we’ve got to learn lessons quickly but also have real conviction and belief in the way that we’re going to do it.
"We know that to get that conviction and belief we need to get positive performances and we’re going to be working tirelessly to make that happen. Rome wasn’t built in a day and there’s plenty of hard work to be done but there’s also some good green shoots coming through to show that we can get it right and we’ve just got to carry on, believe in ourselves, work hard every day and really strive for improvement.
"That was a youthful side out there tonight. If you look at the players that weren’t there today you’ve got a good five or six players still to come back into the fold. That shows that we’ve got some really strong players to come back still – Ralph, Dieng, Lennon, Demetriou all missing and not playing a part, and John White wasn’t risked either – those five experienced players there along with Oxley and Stephen Humphrys gives us seven real senior players to come in around this youthful side which is full of potential. With those players still to come in that’s a strong sign for us."