1. ITV Report

Southend players 'not fit enough' says new boss Sol Campbell

  • Sol Campbell says his players have to 'get fitter'

New Southend United manager Sol Campbell has given a damning verdict of his players’ fitness, saying they can’t compete “toe to toe” with the opposition for a full 90 minutes.

Campbell was speaking after his team’s 3-1 defeat to League One leaders Ipswich Town at Roots Hall.

He said: “Definitely for me is the team has to get fitter for sure. And once they get fitter less mistakes will start happening."

Southend United manager Sol Campbell says his players aren't fit enough. Credit: PA

Campbell added: “When you look at it, we could’ve done better in all the goals, but the last goal we should’ve been lively, but that’s because, you know, fitness wise. You’re not as fit, the mind goes, and then you start making mistakes.”

Despite the criticism, Campbell said he had belief in his players to turn things around once their fitness has improved.

“So once that gets better we can minimise those mistakes,” said Campbell.

“I’m not saying we’re going to have no goals against us, but at least the other team will have to work harder to score goals.”

Sol Campbell watches his side get beaten 3-1 by Ipswich Town. Credit: PA

Campbell added: “We need points, but the main thing for me is performances.

“There were some really good performances out there, considering the last game against Doncaster. I believe in the guys, I’ve got great belief in them. I know they can get out of this.

“I know they can get fitter, and once they get fitter then we’ll see the true kind of level. And then they can compete and go toe to toe, not for 60, 70 minutes, but 90 minutes.

“That’s key for me, to go toe to toe and push the opposition all the way. I think that hasn’t happened for a long time.”

Sol Campbell says he believes his players can turn things around. Credit: PA