Disappointed Baldwin expected more from his return to Southend
Pat Baldwin's return to Southend United last Saturday may not have gone the way he would have wanted it to, but the towering defender saw plenty of positives in Exeter City's 2-1 defeat at Roots Hall.
Baldwin was at his imperious best, alongside skipper Danny Coles, on his return to Essex, but he could do nothing to prevent the home side from winning 2-1, despite the Grecians going in front through Scot Bennett.
The loss was Exeter's first away from home this season in npower League Two, but there was plenty of good to take from the game. The Grecians were in control for 75 minutes, and the fact City were so disappointed to have come away from a Southend side who were play-off semi-finalists last season shows how far they have come.
"That is the mentality we have in that dressing room," Baldwin said. "We want to achieve and be successful and I feel it was a compliment when you look at how much they celebrated at the end of the game to beat a team like us.
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"We are a very good side and, if we can iron out a few creases here and there with some hard work on the training ground, then you don't know where that can take us."
"We were disappointed in the changing room afterwards, because I thought we played really well. We defended their threat very well up until the point they made changes and I thought their changes changed the dynamics of the game," Baldwin added. "We gave away two sloppy goals, but you have to give credit to Southend because I thought when they made the changes, they were very effective.
"I'm just really disappointed with the result because I felt we deserved to come away with something."
Baldwin is very much at home in Essex, having spent time at both Colchester United and Southend before his move to Exeter. He made over 250 appearances for Colchester before a free transfer move to Southend in January of this year, but he played just twice before heading west to Exeter.
"It's always nice to go back," he said. "I have family in Southend, so it was nice to go and see my Mum and Dad for the first time in a while. I love the club, I really enjoyed it when I was here, even the short period at the start of this year.
"The fans are always good with me as well, so I just have good memories of the place. I wasn't sure what reaction I would get, but I'm pleased with the reception and I wish Southend all the best for the rest of the season."
It will not be long before Baldwin is facing another of his former employers. On Saturday, Bristol Rovers arrive in Devon searching for their first League win of the season.
Baldwin played six games during a loan spell at the Memorial Stadium towards the end of 2009, and he is looking forward to renewing acquaintances once more.
"It's another game against a former club and we are looking forward to it, especially after Saturday. We were disappointed to lose and we're eager to get back in and work hard and improve, and I can't wait for next Saturday to hopefully go out and get three points.
"I have played in Southend-Colchester derbies, so I know what they are like and I look forward to playing in that type of game.
"We haven't got a game this week, so it gives a few players the chance to get back fit and rest up. But then, after the disappointment of Saturday, we wanted to have a game and get back to it straight away."