Southend boss Powell points to poor pitch after drab draw with Doncaster

Doncaster Rovers

Southend manager Chris Powell felt the poor Roots Hall pitch played a part in the Shrimpers' drab 0-0 draw against Doncaster Rovers.

The shocking surface resulted in an uneventful encounter short of excitement.

‘We’ve got footballers out there and when the pitch has held up we’ve shown our quality but it’s very difficult to play on,’ said Powell.

‘I’m not here to blame anyone because the adverse weather has made it hard and it’s tough for a lot of teams at the moment.

‘But the pitch really does make it tough to make it a decent spectacle especially when weather-wise we had about four different seasons in 90 minutes.

‘However, I still tell the players to try and make things happen and at times we did.

‘I’m happy with the clean sheet but it’s a just a shame we couldn’t crown it off at the other end to take the three points because we had the opportunities, the best of which went to Stephen McLaughlin.

‘But we needed a positive reaction to Saturday’s defeat to Walsall and I thought we got that.’

Both teams struggled to create chances during a disappointing clash but Doncaster wasted an early chance to take the lead when an unmarked Joe Wright headed James Coppinger’s right wing corner wide of the right post.

The Shrimpers hit back with McLaughlin firing wide of the left post when clear on through before the visitors were denied by a stunning double save from Mark Oxley who kept out efforts from John Marquis and Alex Kiwomya in quick succession.

Rovers boss Darren Ferguson – whose side have still won just once in 2018 – was pleased to pick up a point.

‘I cannot fault my players and they gave me everything I asked of them,’ he said.

‘It shows good character to come here after the defeat at Rotherham and pick up a point.

‘Even in the last minute when they were putting balls in the box we dealt with them fine.

‘It was difficult to do what we wanted to do at times, given the way the pitch was.

‘But we got a clean sheet and their goalkeeper has had to make two incredible saves in the first half to stop us winning it.’