Campbell enthused with positive ‘small steps’ despite Blues defeat

Sunderland 1-0 Southend United – Reaction

SOL CAMPBELL remained positive after witnessing his improving Southend United side slip to a narrow Sky bet League One defeat against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.

Luke O’Nien’s header midway through the opening period was all that separated the sides and although this was Southend’s thirteenth loss of the campaign, the new chief saw a significant improvement in his new charges

“It’s another defeat but the performances are getting better,” Campbell told www.southendunited.co.uk.

“We were a little bit nervous in the beginning, but I think they grew as the game went on.

“There was a shout for a penalty – I thought it hit his arm straight away but the referee’s missed that one – but the lads played really well. The main thing is the performance; it’s definitely gone up another level and I’m pleased with that.

“The guys have worked extremely hard. It’s a big pitch, they’ve run their socks off and it’s a good feeling when I see the players starting to link up together, starting to keep the ball and starting to ask questions of the opposition.”

Having already conceded 43 league goals ahead of the game, Campbell was altogether happier to see his side remain in the game throughout, even though ultimately they were unable to close the eight-point gap on those clubs directly above them.

“It’s a great performance and yes, we’ve lost, but we’ve stayed in the game and we just need a little bit of luck now in front of goal, something to go our way, but you’ve got to keep on working hard to earn that luck,” he continued.

“The main thing for me was that the lads kept in the game and kept on playing. We just need that little bit of finishing, a little bit of movement at the end and to get fitter so that once we do create we have something to latch onto and cause the opposition more problems.

“We’re holding the play, we started moving the ball in the midfield and started linking up. It is coming, the fitness is coming as well, so overall, it’s a good performance from the lads. It’s another loss but the performance is better for sure.”

Southend United return to Sky Bet League One action on Tuesday, November 5 when they face Portsmouth at Fratton Park (7:45pm).

Sunderland: J McLaughlin, C McLaughlin, Lynch, Willis, Power (Capt), Maguire (Watmore 62’), O’Nien, Dobson, McGeady (Leadbitter 86’), Grigg (McNulty 78’), Hume Subs not used: Patterson, McGeouch, Flanagan, Kimpioka

Southend United: Bishop, Bwomono, Ralph, Milligan (Capt) (Hyam 78’), Dieng, Hopper (Rush 78’), Cox, Goodship (Acquah 64’), Shaughnessy, Lennon, Hutchinson Subs not used: Oxley, Ndukwu, Demetriou, Taylor

Referee: Trevor Kettle
Assistants: Stephen Wade and Ian Dudley
Fourth Official: Garreth Rhodes

Attendance: 30,407

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Brian Jeeves

Email: [email protected]