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Club News

Paul Heckingbottom's Southend Reaction

12 March 2016

Paul Heckingbottom addressed the press after seeing his Reds side slip to defeat at Oakwell for the first time in 2016, following six straight League One victories on home soil.

Southend scored early on in the game, as well as with the last kick of the game to move the Reds out of the play-off positions. Conor Hourihane missed the opportunity to equalise from the penalty spot in the first half, but Heckingbottom feels the Reds' performance wasn’t as bad as the score-line suggests.

“It wasn’t a disappointing display, it was a disappointing result.” Said Heckingbottom. “We started sluggish and the first 15-20 minutes they started the brighter, which is what we wanted to do. But they did that and got the goal which was fully deserved.

“That kicked us into gear but the missed penalty was a blow for us. We definitely performed better second half, and if we had got the goal at any point we would have looked more likely to win the game.

“Credit to Southend, they’ve come here and done a real good job with a good game plan. They started bright and managed to control the game, dominate the referee and quieten our fans down so they’ll be really pleased. We’ll take things from this and move forward.”

The home fans were furious in the build up to Southend’s opener as it appeared Marc Roberts was fouled, which Heckingbottom agreed with but explained the Reds need to do more to win games.

“When you watch it back, it is a foul.” He said. “I said to the boys in the dressing room we shouldn’t be giving them the opportunity to foul. We need to be dominant and rise above them. We can’t be relying on referees to win us games, we have to be winning them ourselves.”

After a superb start to 2016, Heckingbottom acknowledged that the Reds' run was going to come to an end at some point due to the ‘law of averages’.

Heckingbottom added: “If we had got a goal it would have lifted everyone and given us the momentum. The law of averages says sometimes things won’t go our way and today probably was that.

“We’re disappointed how we started, we responded well second half and looked threatening but we just couldn’t get that breakthrough.”

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