Derby defeat is a low point for Parky

COLCHESTER United boss Phil Parkinson admitted that Saturday's 3-0 home defeat, at the hands of league leaders and Essex rivals Southend, was one of the lowest points of his reign at Layer Road.

By Carl Marston

COLCHESTER United boss Phil Parkinson admitted that Saturday's 3-0 home defeat, at the hands of league leaders and Essex rivals Southend, was one of the lowest points of his reign at Layer Road.

The U's manager has enjoyed a good deal of success over the last three years, having celebrated his third anniversary only a week earlier.

But his side disappointed on the big occasion on Saturday, conceding three goals in a terribly one-sided first-half.


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“We were not good enough in the first-half. It was a bad day, to be three goals down at home to our local rivals at half-time,” rued Parkinson.

“I thought that we looked like a group of individuals today, not a team. It was a big game for the club, but we were not compact as a defensive unit. We tried to look like individuals.

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“We have enjoyed a lot of praise this season, especially with regards to the Chelsea game, but now we are going to get some stick, and rightly so.

“I could have made some changes at half-time, but I decided not to because I looked on it as a test of character. We were just not good enough today,” added Parkinson.

The U's boss has insisted all along that the league has been the priority, rather than his team's dramatic exploits in the FA Cup, culminating in a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Premiership champions Chelsea.

United gained the plaudits for their determined performance in the 3-1 defeat at Stamford Bridge, but there is no doubt that their league form has suffered.

In the last four league games, two before and two after the Chelsea fixture, the U's have mustered just one point and failed to score a goal.

Parkinson continued: “It might be that, in hindsight, the players have started to believe in their own publicity since the FA Cup run. But it's important to remember that we have done so well this season, because we've worked hard as a team.

“I made a few changes for this match, because we were poor at Barnsley. But I have to admit that these changes did not really work. I have to look at myself as a manager, and for this game I'm not sure that I picked the right team. You have to look at yourself rather than blame everyone else.

“We have been on an extraordinary run to get into this lofty position, and I hope that it's not going to be an anti-climax after the Chelsea game.

“Chelsea was a fantastic occasion, but we are looking at the bigger picture, and the matches against Barnsley and Southend were more important,” concluded Parkinson.

Southend manager Steve Tilson was understandably delighted with the result, and his side's dominant display, in front of a sell-out crowd at Layer Road.

“We scored three well-taken goals. Only a few weeks ago, Colchester had gone on a run of 20 wins from 22 games, so to come here and win was a great result.

“I don't think that Colchester opened us up all game,” enthused Tilson.

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