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Neal's reaction after Southend defeat

Manager sums up his disappointment in his post-match thoughts

27 September 2017

Neal Ardley believes that results will turn for his players if they can maintain the performance levels shown in recent matches.

Speaking after the 1-0 defeat at Roots Hall, Neal stated his satisfaction with the overall display, but expressed his frustration with a failure to take chances and the manner of Southend's winning goal.

"We played really well in the first-half with a game-plan that we had worked on the day before," said Neal. "Against a decent side in this league – a potential top-six side – we limited them in the first-half. We had our chances to go 2-0 up by half-time and that would probably have been about right. Then in the second-half they put a ball into our box, we clear our lines and the next part is a car crash. We do not deal with it, we try to flick the ball away and lose it, and then it is a skewed cross that goes in at the near post. That is the way for us at the moment.

"I cannot keep making excuses. The performance was very good and the game plan was carried out very well. We have to just keep going and it will turn for us. Goals will create confidence and we just have to keep doing the right things. Confidence will come when they start going in. In the last three or four games we have created loads of chances. There has been nothing wrong with the team performances - the effort and intensity - but it is just that finishing touch. It is better to be feeling that way, rather than searching for ways that you are going to get those chances.

"It is really tough to take (the goal conceded). I am furious, but it's difficult because they boys have given everything. They have given a good performance, but we are walking away with no points and that annoys me. I don't like losing."

Neal added that Anthony Hartigan had a slight back injury after the Milton Keynes game and it was therefore decided to bring Tom Soares back into the team for last night's game.

The manager also said after last night's game that striker Kwesi Appiah is facing a spell on the sidelines after having a scan on the hamstring injury that kept him out against Southend..

"It is not his hamstring muscle, it is his tendons, and the chances are it is going to be four or five weeks," added Neal. "It is a blow because his symptoms had settled down a bit and we thought it may just be two or three weeks, but we just have to try to get him back and rely on the rest of the squad to take us forward."

The full interview with Neal, plus an interview with Harry Forrester, and extended highlights will be on iFollow later today.


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