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Southend United 0-3 Portsmouth – Reaction
It was one-way traffic at times. However, although a vastly inexperienced Southend United side slipped to their sixth defeat in seven competitive outings, manager, Mark Molesley, remained upbeat and rational after Portsmouth had eased to a three-goal EFL Trophy victory at Roots Hall Stadium.
“You always look for positives in the manner of the defeat and I think the boys worked really hard tonight,” the former Weymouth boss explained.
“Again, we’re a youthful side and Portsmouth showed the depth and experience of their squad.
“They’re a strong side and that’s the challenge we want, and I think we can take a lot of positives out of it. First and foremost, the two scholars coming on, Kenny Coker having a full forty-five minutes and Oli Coker with a good half an hour; and I thought they equipped themselves really well, playing up against people ten years older than them.
“I thought that was fantastic. Great for the club to show underneath how good they’re doing with players like that being able to step in is a great experience for them. The younger players in our squad had an opportunity to get out there and we’ve certainly shown some really good moments, we’ve had to defend against a very good side so there are lots of positives to take out of it.”
Molesley was concerned over an injury sustained by midfielder, Lewis Gard. The 21-year-old midfielder was carried from the field with a knee injury. The player having missed eighteen months of his early career due to a similar setback sustained in an EFL Trophy match at Colchester.
“That was a tough moment for everyone,” Molesley added.
I’ve only been at the club a short while but everyone knows how well Lewis done to come back from the previous injury and we’re praying it’s nowhere near as bad as that, but it’s not nice to see him stretchered off.
“Football goes to the back of your mind when you see a young player like that. I’ve really been enjoying working with Lewis, he’s a great lad and a great player, and our thoughts are with him and we hope he makes a speedy recovery.
“The injury is in his knee, he’s been stretchered off and we just pray for the best with that one.”
(Quotes courtesy of Southend United FC)