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3 April 2021

Southend boss Mark Molesley remained resolute in his post-match interview, insisting that his Blues side weren’t out of the fight yet despite a disappointing 2-0 defeat to Carlisle this afternoon.

Offrande Zanzala fired the visitors in front after just 17 minutes, fizzing one in from the edge of the area, before Simeon Akinola missed a golden opportunity to bring Blues level as he saw his penalty saved by goalkeeper Paul Farman.

The Cumbrian’s doubled their lead with just over 10 minutes remaining as substitute Gime Toure scored within five minutes of being brought on, curling the ball into the bottom corner to secure the points. And after the full-time whistle, Molesley gave his assessment to the press.

On the Carlisle defeat…

“It’s certainly a knockback. We’re not out of anything, but we’re going to have to show a lot more at the same time for the next game. Fortunately, there’s another game on Tuesday [against Morecambe] and we need a big reaction and quick.

“We drifted in the game and I don’t think we started well enough. They’ve got their goal, a great turn from [Zanzala] and a great finish, and it shows the difference that they’ve got players of quality that can produce a moment like that.

“We go 1-0 down and then it’s difficult. We then get a great chance to get back into the game and we don’t take it, and where we are the moment, we need moments like that to give us confidence. When you see a penalty missed it compounds the feeling as well.

“We can’t use that as an excuse, we’ve got to rise again, keep getting ourselves up, keep fighting and look for moments in the game to galvanise us. If it wasn’t the penalty, then the next moment needs to be good and unfortunately, there was a lack of quality out there today.”

On the missed penalty…

“Sim [Akinola] was designated penalty taker and has been for when he’s on the pitch; Jason [Demetriou] is also a penalty taker for us and so is Ash [Nathaniel-George], so they are our three penalty takers.

“Sim, by rank, was always our number one penalty taker. He didn’t miss a penalty last year, scored double figures and unfortunately, he hasn’t put that one away today.

“He has a style of taking penalties which has served him very well, but it didn’t go for us today. We can’t use that moment to compound us, we can’t feel sorry for ourselves, we’ve got to show more.

“That’s an isolated incident and yes we need it to go in, but it didn’t, and we needed to do more and the next thing needed to be good. If one person makes a mistake, then the next person needs to pick them up and dig them out sometimes.”

On losing McCormack and an update on Olayinka…

“Losing McCormack didn’t help and losing White as well last week. You lose a little bit of your experience out there in these situations when sometimes moments in the game are getting frustrating and not quite going the way you’d like them.

“That’s when you want your older players out there to settle things down and make the right decisions at the right time, be a calming voice and drive people forward, and we missed that today. We went a bit rudderless at times, but we’ve got to make the most of our moments and the whole mood of the game changes and we haven’t done that today.”

“James Olayinka has gone back to Arsenal and had a scan, and we’ll find out more about that over the coming days. McCormack is feeling his calf, which is always an area of concern. He’s feeling it a little bit higher up, so we’ll just have to see what the consequence of that is in the next couple of days.”

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