On a positive note: It took a League One side 220 minutes to see us off... they were better & more composed than us throughout..
...but sheer spirit & the brilliance of Palmer & Morris got us back to 2-2 before we ran out of puff.
Yes, we did run out of puff....spectacularly. We worked so hard to get back in to it...then lifted the white flag with Southend’s first attack in extra time. Up until then I fancied us to go on and win it.....but you can’t argue that Southend looked sharper for long periods all over the pitch. Palmer deserves a medal for his work rate.Really refreshing to see.
I dunno what to say about that - we were abject in the first half and abject in extra time. How with 4 subs Doherty survived the full 120 is amazing, he cost us the win against Exeter (that moment when everything has gone wrong for Cioffi) and put in one of the most sub par left back displays I’ve ever seen in a Reds shirt tonight.
Cioffi has to sort out the weak links in defence or this season will head south pretty quickly
Both Doherty & N'Gala looked tired and slow, were they match fit? Worrying again that we gave away so many goals due to defensive slip ups, by that I mean getting done out wide for them to cross and the appalling marking following the cross. I still dunno why McNerney is always dropped to the bench he is our best defender imo. Plamer ran his nuts off and he must be wondering what more can he do to help this poor team. I said in a another thread that losing is a hard habit to break, time for our manager to earn his corn me thinks. Roll on Crewe, a game we must win to restore some confidence, lose & I think we will be looking over our shoulder in a relegation fight rather than going for the play offs.
On the whole most of the lads played well for 90 minutes. Southend in patches looked an excellent side but seem quite light weight mentally. At least three of our players haven't played regular for a while and it must be tough to be thrown in against a quick skillfull team. Extra time was a farce really and their extra fitness mas evident to see. The honeymoon period is definitely over for the new manager. His fan engagement has given him a few more games grace than HK was given. We need 20 points out of the next 30 I guess to consolidate a mid table position and avoid slipping into a relegation dog fight with Notts County etc..😀
Always disappointing to exit a cup competition, although giving cup performances in recent years no great shock. Even if we had won, I think Barnsley would have been far too strong for us anyway. Southend wisely made 3 substitutions in extra time to bring on fresh legs, we made 1 - Gabi - take note!
Crewe at home Saturday is now important, and hopefully the boys can forget about last night quickly and crack on. The defence is a real concern, we have now conceded 20 goals in our last 7 games
Disappointing, as it was a good effort to get back to 2-2. Once you start chasing the game it can always be difficult. However the wait for a Cup win goes on - was Ipswich really the last time we won a FAC or League Cup game?
Two main issues, clearly. 19 goals conceded in 6 games (and that excludes the SSC), and if Olly Palmer doesn't score we are struggling for goals. It's not as if we have much strength in depth on the bench either.
3 points on Saturday and a clean sheet would help steady the ship.
I'm unclear where the club is going at the moment, drifting in mid table, out of all the cups, and little sign of our owner either. It will be interesting to see if we get another of his 'Crawley Family' messages but to be honest we have gone from Yates to Drummy to Kewell to Cioffi with pretty much the same end result.
On the other hand if we can stay in mid table and out of trouble that will be OK for a club the size of ours.