Campbell full of praise for Blues babes

Brian Jeeves
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Southend United 0-1 Gillingham

SOUTHEND UNITED against sampled the bitter taste of a Sky Bet League One defeat. However, boss Sol Campbell again praised his young charges, whose squad consisted of no less than twelve teenagers.

In-form visitors, Gillingham, plundered the points when Connor Ogilvie nipped in front of debutant Blues goalkeeper, Harry Seadon, to net the only goal of the game midway through the second half. Nevertheless, that aside, it was a resolute display from such an inexperienced group who will feel a little unlucky not to have earned a share of the spoils for their tireless toil.

“For me, the lads have played fantastic and they put a fantastic shift in<” Campbell enthused.

“They’re a very physical side, Gillingham, always turning the ball over into our backline and into the space behind our back four and we stood up to the challenge.

“Some of our young players played really well and they showed some character which was nice to see. In the end, we were a little bit unlucky.
“Then we get the chance to equalise but we don’t finish it off so it’s just one of those days. The lads played really well, and under all that pressure they stood up to the challenge and it was nice to see that bit of character.”

Despite suffering their twenty-second loss of the campaign, Campbell continued to put on a brave face, adding: “The main thing for us performance-wise is we have to set our stall out and make sure we’re difficult to beat.

“We are weaker all over the pitch, so we’ve got to work harder than most teams because we have a lot of youngsters playing who have the energy but need to work on the positioning.

“Sometimes their energy and youth gets them through games, but games like this you just need a little bit of nous about you and they haven’t got that – they will have that in time but we haven’t got that time at the moment.”

Southend United return to Sky bet League One action on Saturday, February 22 when Burton Albion are the visitors to Roots Hall Stadium (3pm).

Southend United: Seaden, Bwomono, Milligan, Dieng (Capt), McLaughlin, Mantom, Kelman, Kyprianou (Shaughnessy 75’), Clifford, Egbri (Rush 85’), Mitchell-Nelson Subs not used: Taylor, Klass, Barratt, Hutchinson, Kinali

Gillingham: Bonham, Ehmer (Capt), Ogilvie, Hanlan, Willock (Lee 62’), Mandron (Graham 46’), Roberts (Charles-Cook 90+4’), Fuller, Akinde, O’Connor, Tucker Subs not used: Walsh, Jones, Pringle, Woods

Referee: Trevor Kettle
Assistants: Alasdair Ross and Paul Kelly
Fourth Official: Nicholas Cooper

Attendance: 6,021 (877 from Gillingham)


Brian Jeeves