Southend boss Mark Molesley said that this afternoon’s defeat to Mansfield was a ‘big opportunity missed’ as Blues lost 1-0 to the Stags at Roots Hall.
Jamie Reid’s tap in was all that separated the two sides, but Southend will look back at chances for Timothee Dieng and Simeon Akinola in the second-half as golden opportunities to have picked up the point needed to lift them from the foot of the League Two table.
In a frustrating afternoon for the hosts, Dieng was sent off after Elvis Bwomono, Alan McCormack and Greg Halford all picked up knocks, and after the full-time whistle, Molesley gave us his thoughts on the defeat as well as an update on the players that were forced off.
On the narrow Mansfield defeat…
“It was a tough battle. I’m really disappointed as it was a big opportunity missed for us to climb out [of the relegation zone].
“There wasn’t much in the game and it was another tough battle. I think at this stage of the season, with the current weather, the games are always quite tough, battling affairs. They’re not the most technical affairs, but again we’ve momentarily switched off, had a lapse in concentration and been punished for it, similar to Tuesday [against Cambridge].
“That’s really disappointing because we haven’t given up too many clear cut chances, albeit we haven’t created too many ourselves. At the same time, we’ve had a great one for Sim [Akinola] at the back post with that header and a penalty shout, but we can’t hide behind the fact that we’ve lost that game. We need to show more guile in the attacking third, and again a momentary lapse in concentration has cost us dearly.”
On being more clinical in front of goal…
“They took their [chance] and we didn’t take ours – small details, big impact. That’s where we find ourselves at the moment. It’s bitterly disappointing but only ourselves can get ourselves out of it and we can’t hide behind excuses.
“It wasn’t a great day on the injury front from us, but we won’t offer up any excuses. We need to get ourselves out of this and we will, but we’ve got to improve in the final third a little bit quicker. We’ve got to continue to build on what we’re trying to do on the positives, but then fix those lapses in concentration and fix the final third bits, the missing link.”
On Dieng’s sending off…
“They get a foul in the box and from what I can see, Tim’s walked past him and he’s in a bit of a heap on the floor as he’s walked past him. Has he stood on him? It wasn’t a stamp or anything like that, but I’d have to see it properly again.
“It looked like the referee had no problem with it until their players surrounded him, but if he has stepped on him, then that’s a lack of discipline that we can ill afford at the moment.”
On the injuries…
“Elvis [Bwomono] done well to start the game today with his back, but at half time that had locked up so, unfortunately, we’ve lost him.
“Alan McCormack has come off with a calf issue as well, so we’ll just have to monitor that, and also Greg as well.
“Hopefully Jason Demetriou will join us again, and we’ll assess the severity of those injuries in the next couple of days and we’ll put our best foot forward on Tuesday and come out and fight.
“We need a sharp reaction. This was never going to be easy, football is a tough game. The margins are fine at the moment, but we’re not a million miles away. At the same time, two frustrating games for us where we’ve agonisingly come up a little bit short. We can fix that and we’re going to have to, starting on Tuesday.”