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16 January 2021

Blues boss Mark Molesley said only time will tell if this afternoon’s point at Grimsby will prove to be a good one as Southend fought to a 0-0 draw at Blundell Park.

In difficult conditions in Cleethorpes thanks to days of inclement weather, it was never likely to be a spectacle between League Two’s bottom two but Blues certainly had the better of the chances with Ashley Nathaniel-George almost nicking the win at the death for the visitors.

Molesley though was pleased with yet another clean-sheet – Southend’s fifth in their last eight matches and second in succession – and after the full-time whistle had gone he gave us his thoughts on the draw.

On picking up a point…

“We were trying to do everything to try and win the game, and we probably looked the more convincing that we were going to try and win the game. We put some balls in the box and asked some questions, their keeper has made a couple of saves at the end, but at the same time if that was in your back garden you’d probably pull the curtains.

“The elements probably played a big part in that. Fair play, Grimsby have done very well to get the game on. As we were travelling up, we thought it was going to be another Newport again getting called off at the last moment. Everyone’s frantically looking at the weather forecast all the way up here and the ground staff have done really well to get that on. Half the pitch played better but the far side was very boggy.

“A lot is on the line for both teams in tricky conditions so you can forgive the players for not playing too risky. It was always going to be a battle out there and it’s one we more than matched them.”

On another clean sheet…

“I felt we really showed that resilience, that hard-to-beat side but we would have liked to probably create more chances. But having said that, I think we probably created the clearer cut chances.

“I don’t think Oxley’s had a save to make. From a defensive point of view – and that’s the whole team. You saw how hard our forwards worked to press and harry and stop balls coming forward, so it’s a real team effort.

“We’re doing quite well with that at the moment but we’ve got to continue to want to improve and build on that. The next bit is probably from those long balls and those second balls: can we be a little bit more proactive with those? We’ll certainly be looking to improve that.

“You can’t fault the attitude, the application and the fight of the boys. They really put in a hard shift in tough conditions, long travel. Will this be a good point? Only time will tell, but what will make it a good point is if we have a positive result on Tuesday.”

On the stop-start nature of the game…

“There were some cynical [fouls]. You only ask for a little bit of player safety. We’ve ended up having three or four bookings out there today and our players have hardly given a foul away. It was more due to conversation with the referee afterwards.

“Maybe we need to show a little bit more discipline, but some of them are really nasty fouls and the referee hasn’t even spoken to the player. It is player safety first but I’m not sure how we’ve ended up with so many bookings.

“We’re competing, we’re working hard and we’ve just got to make sure that this ends up being a good point and we keep building.

“We’ll take the point and move on quickly. We’ll take the positives from the defensive display and try and add a little bit more cutting edge for Tuesday.”

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