Maher’s assessment honest after Blues crash

Brian Jeeves

Southend United v Woking – Vanarama National League – Roots Hall Stadium – Reaction

Southend United 0-2 Woking

Kevin Maher provided an honest assessment of his Southend United side following their 2-0 Vanarama National League defeat at the hands of an organised and efficient Woking outfit at Roots Hall Stadium.

The defeat, Southend’s tenth of the campaign, provided further evidence of the rebuild Maher and his staff have ahead of them. Blues were out-muscled by the visitors, but the Blues boss tried to play down suggestions that his side cannot compete: “Physicality is one thing, but they haven’t scored from a set-piece,” he explained.

“There’s a goal that’s soft from our point of view which is nothing to do with physicality, and the other one’s a penalty.

“They’re a physical team but we’ve got to be better on the ball, so you can look at it both ways. We matched a lot of it, but we were disappointing when we had the ball.

“It’s disappointing but we know what we’ve got to do. We knew it was going to take time, we knew it was a big job and that hasn’t changed.”

Maher will undoubtedly make changes to his squad over the coming weeks: “We knew physically it was going to be a tough one, but we knew we had to match that.

“We hoped we had enough quality on the pitch for when we had the ball, but I don’t think we showed enough of that, especially in the final third. In the first half, I thought it was a little bit too slow and no real threat in behind. The first goal was disappointing and going behind makes it hard.

“It felt like on the side that was coming, but everyone that’s been coming to Southend for a while now knows where we’re at. Lack of quality in the final third and a little bit of composure at the right time, which we didn’t show enough of, and ultimately you need people to score goals.

Maher spoke about the late spot-kick, which seemed somewhat harshly awarded for a handling offence: “Yes (it was harsh), but it’s not the referee’s fault for the last two or three years we’ve been losing football matches so you have to accept that and get on with it.”

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Brian Jeeves

Email: sport@yellowad.co.uk