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Gaz happy to take Southend scalp
GARETH Ainsworth said his side claimed a good scalp as they survived a second half onslaught from Southend United to get back to winning ways.
Blues won for the first time since the opening day of the season as first half goals from Dean Morgan and Steven Craig saw off the Shrimpers, whose only response came courtesy of the in-form Freddy Eastwood.
All the goals came before the interval and the barrage Ainsworth was expecting from a Southend side who had won their opening three fixtures duly arrived.
But the home defence didn’t cave in and helped lay the foundations for a second home win of the season, meaning Ainsworth was a proud man come the final whistle.
He said: “I knew there was going to be an onslaught and we handled it well. Southend are a strong side and they are going to be there or thereabouts, I guarantee it. If we play like that we will be there or thereabouts, hopefully in the top half of the league.
“I’m glad we’ve got our home form back on track. Mansfield was a blip and we’ve proved that in the last two performances.
“Everyone will be looking at Southend and thinking, ‘What’s happening there?’ I’m looking at Southend thinking that’s a good scalp, because they’re a strong side and Phil Brown knows what to do to win a game.”
The Blues boss felt his side’s overall performance was better last week in the 2-2 draw at Oxford, but an outstanding defensive display was the reason why they were able to hold on for the win this time.
He said: “We’ve carried on from last week and I’ve asked them to do that. They felt hard done by at the end of the game last week but I said if you carry on the performance today you’ll get the result.
“It’s a results business. Today we got the result and the performance was probably better last week, but defensively we were better this week.
“We showed today not only can we go forward and do well – we showed that at Oxford – today we showed that we can defend. I thought [Gary] Doherty and [Leon] Johnson were a brilliant pairing.
“I want them to be out there leading and they put their bodies on the line out there today. The turning point was at the end of the first half when they hit the bar, they had three shots at our goal and we were just throwing bodies in front of it.”
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