Bristol Rovers 4-2 Southend United – Reaction
BEMUSED Southend United manager, Sol Campbell, wasn’t mincing his words after witnessing his side throw away a two-goal lead and slip to their sixteenth Sky Bet League One defeat of the season as Bristol Rovers won 4-2 at the Memorial Ground.
Tom Hopper and Brandon Goodship had fired Southend 2-0 ahead inside 36 minutes. However, a calamatus second half colapse saw Rovers hit back through Jonson Clarke-Harris (penalty), Abu Ogogo, Ed Upson and Alfie Kilgour to take the points.
“I don’t know what world these guys are living in?” Campbell reacted.
“I told the players, at half-time, that the game wasn’t won. You can’t expect to win a game by half-time. We lost concentration in those few seconds [in the second-period], after an amazing first-half.
“I could understand at eighty to eighty-five minutes the players tiring, but from the second minute of the second half we weren’t closing players down, as we had done before the break.”
Campbell concluded: “I don’t know what planet these players think they’re on? We go two-nil up, then we just chuck it out of the window. We can’t just lay down and die.”
Former Southend player and coach, now Rovers’ manager, Graham Coughlan, admitted: “I read the riot act at half-time. We were sloppy and second-best in all the challenges.”
“But, we changed the system at the break. When we play simple football, we’re effective. The only thing in the players’ defence is that we’ve had three games in six days – that’s quite a turnaround. Liam Sercombe has covered thirty-five kilometres, for instance.”