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16 January 2022

Lewis Gard was happy to be back in Southend United’s starting eleven but was disappointed Blues ultimately exited the Buildbase FA Trophy.

Two second half strikes condemned Kevin Maher’s side to defeat in the Fourth Round away at Dagenham & Redbridge on Saturday.

And Gard, who hadn’t featured for Blues since Boxing Day, was grateful for another opportunity to impress.

"It was good being back. I need to play to try and get myself back into the team, I thought I did alright even though the result wasn’t great.

"I did get a cramp towards the end but apart from that I felt good and fit.

"For me, it’s about catching the eye of the manager but obviously, the result is the most important thing. I would be much happier if I had played worse, but we got the win.”

Blues conceded two goals in the space of eight second-half minutes as Mo Sagaf opened the scoring and Junior Morias added another for Daryl McMahon’s side.

Gard felt it was a decent performance though.

"I thought we matched them the whole game, they were just more aggressive in both boxes and that’s what made the difference.

"We matched them all over the pitch, they just put two in [the net] and we couldn’t.

"Everyone was disappointed after the game. We didn’t come off the pitch thinking they were the better side, we thought we gave them a good game.

"It was a chance to get one step closer to a Wembley Final but as the gaffer told us, we forget about this now and go again on Friday against King’s Lynn."

Tickets for the match against The Linnets can be purchased by clicking here.

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