Glyn Hodges felt Wimbledon deserved all three points today, but he said that his players paid the ultimate price for failing to take their chances.
Speaking after the 1-1 draw, which came after Southend scored through a 90th minute penalty, our manager said: “I thought we dominated the first-half and it was probably the most comfortable we had been for a while and the boys looked like they were enjoying themselves. We came in 1-0 up and I just said to them in the dressing room that we had to continue what we had been doing. I said to the players ‘you are good enough to get that 2-0’. That was a 2-0 or a 3-0 home win for me all day long, but you end up kicking yourselves thinking that they’ve nicked one in the 90th minute. We had chances in the second-half, but we didn’t take them. We paid the price for not getting the second goal that I felt our play deserved.”
Callum Reilly had opened the scoring with a superb individual goal and Glyn was quick to praise his overall contribution in recent weeks.
“Callum has been brilliant," added Glyn. "He is a big player in there for us with all the young players we have. He is one of the senior players and he leads by example with his performances. His goal was superb, but I felt in the first-half that we did well on the ball and we had a lot of good play."
On the decision by referee Craig Hicks to award Southend a late penalty, Glyn said: “I haven’t looked at it, but I was disappointed that we didn’t deal with the ball in the first place. We had possession in their half, they whacked it down the pitch, and it’s ended up a penalty. You could see it coming because the longer the game went on the more tired we got. We’ve had a really hard three games. Unfortunately, Oxford could rest five players and Southend didn’t play on the 29 December. We are just patching them up and throwing them out there. The effort they showed was excellent and I cannot fault them for that. We were just unable to get that extra goal, which we never seem to get."
Our manager said afterwards that Jack Rudoni was withdrawn as a precaution after feeling his hamstring at the start of the second-half and it's too early to assess the extent of the injury.