Mark Molesley hails survival spirit as Southend beat Harrogate
Southend manager Mark Molesley believes his team’s battling 1-0 win at Harrogate proved they have the fight to beat the drop from Sky Bet League Two.
Ashley Nathaniel-George wrapped up victory in the 69th minute as the Shrimpers went a fourth game unbeaten and closed the gap on third-bottom Barrow to three points.
A delighted Molesley said: “At this stage of the season in the situation we are in, it was crucial to get three points and another clean sheet.
“I know how hard it is to get out of non-league football but Harrogate have equipped themselves very well this season and are very organised with really good habits, so we had to show every good characteristic that we possess and we did.
“We showed resilience and resolve and the players never know when to lay down, so I’m hugely proud of them. The stakes are high and the pressure is on but the boys have never ducked a challenge.
“We’ve wriggled off the ropes a little bit and the fight is still on. There’s a lot of hard work ahead of us but we will never give up and will keep fighting to the end.
“We haven’t done anything yet – not even close – but people had us down and we’re certainly not yet.”
Molesley also revealed that his worst fears had been allayed regarding captain John White, who was substituted on the stroke of half-time with an arm injury, but subsequent hospital x-rays suggested it was not broken.
Harrogate boss Simon Weaver saw his side suffer a third straight defeat and reminded his players, who appear safe from relegation and too far adrift for a play-off push, that their futures are still at stake.
“We didn’t have a shouting match at the end of the game but we did deliver a few home truths,” he said. “It’s not a case of the play-offs or nothing for me because finishing in the top 10 would be a pat on the back for everyone involved in the club.
“I don’t want to just stay up. I want to keep the momentum going forward and, during the last nine games, we also want to see who we want to still be with us next season.
“We have an honest group of players but the game is about more than being honest and we’ve got to have more incisive play than we saw in this performance, because we have reached a level where teams are not going to give you goals readily and you have to convert your chances.”