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Wilder: It was too easy for Southend
CHRIS Wilder was bitterly disappointed with the manner of the goals Oxford United conceded as they lost for the second successive home game.
Southend United struck twice in the opening half hour, but both goals were self-inflicted.
Conor Clifford opened the scoring after Asa Hall only half-cleared a cross, while Luke Prosser was totally unmarked to head Kevan Hurst’s free-kick past Ryan Clarke.
Wilder, who questioned United’s self-belief following a 1-0 defeat to Chesterfield in the previous home game, criticised their decision-making, but most of all bemoaned the ease with which the visitors took their goals.
The United manager said: “I’m not taking anything away from Southend, but they have not really had to work hard for their goals.
“The first one it should have been a decent clearance and the lad whacked one in, which was a great finish.
“The second one was a silly foul, a great ball in, but poor defending.”
He added: “We didn’t show the quality we have undoubtedly got and if you keep giving the ball away it offers the opportunity (to the opposition) and you get a bit edgy and nervous.”
Despite the disappointment, the U’s boss was keen to gain a sense of perspective, with his side still among Sky Bet League Two’s leading pack.
He said: “We’re still in a healthy position while we hold our hands up and say we’ve not been good enough to win a game of football.
“We will work on our mistakes and go again, but I’m not going to get caught up in any histrionics.
“We’re fourth in the league after ten games. It’s a positive start, I would have liked it to have been a little bit better, of course we would, and we would have liked to have cemented our position in the top two.
“But we haven’t, and we have a group of honest players who know they haven’t done well enough.”
One of the bright points to come out of the game was a league debut for Callum O’Dowda.
The 18-year-old came off the bench for his league debut, playing the final 20 minutes.
It was almost an inspired move, as he quickly crossed for James Constable, whose diving header was superbly saved.
Wilder said: “He picked his head up and put a great ball in for Beano, it was a good bit of quality.
“It was a difficult situation, but we thought ‘give the boy a chance’.
“The philosophy of the football club is to give young players an opportunity as well as trying to win football games.
“That’s what we’re trying to do. We thought the timing was right for Callum.”
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