Gaffer can't fault his sides effort at Roots HallMicky Mellon refused to fault his team’s efforts during today’s 1-0 defeat at Southend, but said that a bit more passion might not have gone amiss. Shrewsbury trailed inside two minutes and Shaq Coulthirst’s header ended up being a matchwinner.
“It was disappointing to lose a goal so early and the manner in which we conceded it,” said a crestfallen Town chief. “You can’t give free headers away like that from a ball lumped into our box and that summed up the way we started if you like. We never really got going apart from a little spell when we changed the system a wee bit. But we never really looked enough of a threat up front which is disappointing as we’ve got some good players up there. We didn’t really look capable of winning a battle against their back four.”
Micky was asked if Tuesday night’s exertions might have been responsible for a below par showing in Essex. “We travelled yesterday and stayed in a nice hotel last night so I’m not making any excuses. We rested the players up on Wednesday and did the same again on Thursday. We had fire and passion missing out there today as the effort is always there. We weren’t smart or streetwise out there.
We should have been more aggressive when we were trying to win the ball back and we didn’t give their keeper anywhere near enough to do. We never really got in behind them and never really got hold of the ball and I felt it was a pretty lame performance especially in that final third. It would be unfair to say the lads didn’t have a go but I think some of them will be disappointed with that (performance).”
Substitute Andy Mangan had a nightmare afternoon picking up two needless bookings which led to his 85th minute dismissal. “You can’t go making challenges like that when you’re on a yellow,” said Mellon. “We’ve told him that and he knows that. There’s maybe a touch of frustration on his part but you have to use your head in situations like that and not give the referee a decision to make.”
Micky spoke of his frustrations that Town stretched this winless run away from home, particularly as they’re nigh on faultless back on home soil: “We need to be more stubborn away from home. Like I said you can’t give free headers away in the box like that. First and foremost letting people put balls into your box too easily is not right and it’s unacceptable to lose a goal in that way so soon in to the game. We’ve just spoken about it before the team comes out and two minutes later the game has changed as you’re playing against a different scenario already.”
The gaffer was asked for his thoughts on the season so far but refused to be drawn into an answer; preferring to focus on the events in Essex before addressing them next week.