Manager's thoughts on point at Roots Hall
Following today’s goalless encounter at Southend, manager John Ward admitted his side had not been at their best and had, at times, rode their luck.
Had the home side been a little more clinical in front of goal and had it not been for two outstanding second half saves by goalkeeper Steve Mildenhall, then the home side would certainly have claimed all three
“It wasn’t a classic, by any means” said the manager, “but we have got away with a point thanks to a couple of second half misses by Southend. In fact, we looked as though we might find a goal ourselves near the end.
“We weren’t at our best or even close to putting in a good performance, but it was dogged, strong, and determined and we have taken a point. Southend will rue their missed chances, but we are happy to be going away with a point.”
The manager again referred to the three main attributes he demands of his players, namely attitude, effort and ability.
“Whilst our attitude and effort was what we expect from our players, the ability was missing today but those first two attributes will always get you something if you go about things in an organised manner, and we managed to do that.”
Not surprisingly his defenders were pleased with the clean sheet.
“It was good to keep another one, but I think we have to accept that we got away with keeping it because of some glaring misses by Southend.”
On occasions, the manager cut a frustrated figure on the sidelines.
“I was frustrated at times because now I am looking for my team to move on. We have managed to get ourselves in a good position and we need to show that we can move on. The players are still learning, and do make the wrong decisions at times but in the long run I am patient with them because they work hard and try to do the right things.”
While Southend boss Phil Brown was looking at a number of his players with an eye on next season, Ward says he won’t be chopping and changing his team just to look at people.
“Phil has only been in charge for a few games, while I have had over twenty games with this group of players so I am aware of what I think they can do and where we need to move.
“I’m not going to make wholesale changes in our final two games because I am still trying to win points. Our games against Accrington and Torquay are important to those sides and others in the league and it is very important to us, and to our supporters, to try to win those two games.
“I want six points from them, simple as that.”