Date: 14th April 2014 at 7:17am
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Manager Neal Ardley has hailed the players for giving absolutely everything they had in the tank when we faced Southend United last weekend.

A narrow one nil victory is put into context when you consider Southend had returned to form of late and had given themselves every chance of a play off spot again and although they put us under immense pressure and created far more numerous chances than we did on the day, the gaffer told the Official Site following the match that he couldn’t have been more proud of the players for leaving everything they had on the pitch, and then getting their rewards for that with a Jack Midson penalty just before the hour mark.

‘It was just what we needed at this stage of the season. Last week against Bristol Rovers we talked about statistics and how we put those in our favour, but we could not quite get over the line with a win. (Saturday) we were never going to win the statistics. Southend are a good team, at home and we had to do all the League 2 stuff that was required. We had to defend for our lives – some of the blocks were brilliant. Whatever they threw at us we dealt with.’

Ardley goes on to say that during his pre match talk in the dressing room he asked the players to give absolutely everything they had left and battle like we had done in recent matches and they gave him that in spades, so he was utterly delighted with them and the result.

Whilst the aim of the day was obviously defence, he also had immense praise for the two up front in the shape of Midson and on loan Kwesi Appiah, saying they worked their socks off trying to create, chase lost causes and put the pressure on up the field so the ball didn’t constantly keep coming back to the defenders when it could be avoided, so to see them combine to create the opportunity that led to the penalty left him applauding.

Outside of that though he was reticent to single out players because a few were carrying knocks such as Andy Frampton, and others were ‘out on their feet’ like George Francomb given their efforts over 90 minutes, so it’s a day he praises them all as a team for a gutsy performance rather than any individual shining.

‘We defended as a team and we tried to score as a team. It’s one down for us and four to go and we have to push for as many points as we can get this season.’

Given other results on the day as well, the victory helps keep our noses in front of those below us in 14th place and whilst things remain incredibly tight, in terms of survival it’s in our hands but we have the gap of two clear games which is something those on 51 points down don’t have and that should play hugely for us.

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