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26 March 2022

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Kevin Maher cut a frustrated figure this afternoon after watching his Southend United side fall to a 2-0 defeat to Yeovil Town at Huish Park.

Two goals in the opening eight minutes was enough for the home side on an emotional afternoon for the Glovers who before kick-off commemorated a year since the passing of their captain, Lee Collins with a minutes applause.

Blues showed little in way of a response after going behind early on with Maher expressing his dissatisfaction to the press after the game down in Somerset.

“Yeah, we were poor right from the first whistle,” said the Blues Head Coach when asked for his assessment of the afternoon’s performance.  

“We had a game plan and we come away from it straight away within the first couple of minutes.

“I think we’ve done that a couple of times this year and you can’t start like that and get back into a game. It’s happened a couple of times now and it’s not good enough.”

Yeovil got off to a flyer when Reuben Reid opened the scoring in just the fourth minute as he spun inside the box before getting his shot beyond goalkeeper Steve Arnold.

Four minutes later, Charlie Wakefield managed to fire the ball across the face of goal with the grateful Tom Knowles on hand to tap in the Glovers’ second from close range.

When asked what caused the poor start, Maher said: “bad decision making.”

The Southend boss continued, saying: “maybe one or two have got too comfortable and think that they’re a fixture in the side, but overall, we were not good enough.

“As I said, we had a game plan of playing in the right areas and asking them questions, but we didn’t do that. They just asked us questions in the box and we struggled with them.

“There was a couple of glimpses [of a comeback] but nothing of any real substance.

“I think we looked devoid of confidence for some reason and I don’t know how that is. We’ve had a couple of defeats but from the run we’ve been on, before then the performances were very good.

“I’m not sure why one or two of them have suddenly gone into their shell a little bit and away from what we were doing.”

Both of Southend’s new signings in midweek made an appearance this afternoon, with on-loan QPR defender Joe Gubbins coming on at half time while fellow loanee Kenny Clark played the full 90 minutes at Huish Park.

Maher felt it was a difficult game for Clark to come into, but hopes in time he’ll be a good addition to the Blues squad for the remainder of the season.

“It’s was a difficult game. Kenny’s come in and is an experienced player, but no one helped. The whole team didn’t do great at all and you can’t start games like that.

“I’m pleased to have him with us and he’ll do well for us.”

With nine games remaining between now and the end of the season, and with Blues’ fleeting hopes of making a late dash for the play-offs looking increasingly unlikely, Maher now has a challenge to keep his side motivated for the remainder of the campaign.

But the former Southend captain wasn’t having any of it and laid down the gauntlet to his side to show him in the remaining nine games that they want to be here next season.

“Whatever happens at the end of this year or next year, I know what end of the table we’ve got to be in, and if the players want to be a part of that they’ve got to show it now in whatever games we’ve got left if they’re going to be here or not.

“Every time you put the shirt on for this club you better be prepared to work your socks off and today was nowhere near good enough.”

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