Dover Athletic 1-0 Southend United – Reaction
SOL CAMPBELL was both angry and frustrated after seeing his Southend United side succumb to a humiliating Emirates FA Cup first-round defeat at the hands of non-league Dover Athletic.
The match was settled by a late strike from Ruel Sotiriou – on loan at Dover from Leyton Orient – However, it came as little surprise after the Vanarama National League side bossed the game for long spells.
The former Tottenham and Arsenal defender has now had three weeks to oversee his new side and was painfully aware that the current situation had escalated over a sizable period
“This is eighteen months to two years of football and we’ve got to change this as a team, and we will do that,” he explained.
“Today, you’ve got a chance to kill a team and move a team, and move their back four, play around the corner and play cleverly, and that hurts me, even more, when we do it in training, but we don’t transfer it into the game.
“I see it happen in training so I know it can happen and today there was more space, and we don’t do it. I don’t understand if it’s a handbrake scenario. Is it a confidence thing? We’ve got to talk and work it out.”
Campbell faces a huge task trying to change the mindset of a team to which losing has become second nature. However, despite confidence in his own ability, the new boss was agitated that his side seemed unable to display any self-belief: “We are getting better but we’ve got to really believe that we can win games,” he added.
“We’ve got to believe that we can score; it’s not like we’re not getting chances, we’ve got to believe that we’re going to score.
“It’s a big job, I get that and we’re under no illusions, but today we had so many chances, so many times to play out, so many times to play through midfield and we just need that little bit of confidence, a bit more coaching, a bit more taking them through videos and we’ve got to grind through this.”
The Blues chief suggested he will be busy when the transfer window reopens in the new year: “Come January, we’re going to have to look at it as well.
“We need reinforcements, for sure, but there are still guys in there I know that can play football because we had so much space and time but we’re just not picking the right options or we’re scared.”