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19 November 2021

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Blues boss Kevin Maher said that he believes more than ever that things will turn around for his Southend United side in the wake of their narrow 1-0 defeat to Grimsby Town this evening.

Ryan Taylor’s third-minute strike was the difference as the Mariners ended a four-game losing run to climb to second in the National League table, level on points with leaders Chesterfield.

Defeat for Blues was their second league defeat in a row but Maher felt his side were worthy of something from Cleethorpes, and he urged everyone at the club to stick together.  

“I’ve said to the players in there that we have to stick together, and that’s us as a club,” said the Southend Head Coach following the full-time whistle at Blundell Park.

“We have to stick together and as bad as things seem now, it will turn and when we turn all of us will go together. We will do it and [tonight] makes me more determined and I believe even more now that we’re going to do it.

“As a staff, as a group of fans, as a club that’s going to take some work. If we stick together it’ll turn.”

Taylor’s effort so early on in the contest was far from the ideal start for Blues, but to their credit, they rallied and Maher and his players left Grimsby feeling disappointed to have not come away with something from their trip.

“It doesn’t feel like it at the minute because we’ve lost, but they’re third in the league and we’ve come in thinking we should have got something from that.

“A month or six weeks ago they probably would have gone under, but they didn’t and they got themselves together.

“We lacked a little bit of quality in the final third where we’ve got to be a bigger threat in terms of our attacking play and goalscoring.

“It was disappointing to concede so early. I think we were a bit disjointed early on with the change of shape but we regained our composure and we were more than in the game.”

Despite the defeat, there were a couple of standout performances from those in yellow, with Louis Walsh looking particularly bright on the wing for the travelling Blues.

Maher was keen to point out Walsh’s contribution, among others, before calling out a need to find more cutting edge in the final third of the pitch.

“I thought Walsh was good and he had a threat in the wide areas, put some good balls in; Murphy nearly got on the end of one slide ball from Brunt coming off the side with his quality, but we need more moments like that.

“Ferguson perhaps can start joining from there a bit more, but without anything clear cut we wanted more attacking play and it broke down too much when we got to the final third. That’s the hardest bit of the game, that final third stuff and it’s frustrating.

Finally, Maher was asked to give an update on Nathan Ralph and Abu Ogogo who were both missing from the travelling party this evening at Grimsby.

The Blues boss also commented on what is shaping up to be a huge clash next up against Maidenhead United at Roots Hall, with Maher calling for the superb Southend support to get behind the boys on Tuesday night.

“Hopefully [Ralph and Ogogo’s injuries are] not too serious. They were serious enough to miss tonight, which was frustrating.

“To get Ralph back last week was a big plus and for him to drop out again the other day was disappointing. Hopefully, they’ll not be out too long. I’m not sure [if they’ll be available for Tuesday] but we’re in on Sunday so we’ll have a clearer picture then.

“We’re at home on a Tuesday night under the lights at Roots Hall and hopefully the fans will get behind us like they have done today – over 200 here tonight and we thank them for coming all this way, just disappointing we couldn’t give them something to go home with.”

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