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That's the message from Michael Appleton as the Imps slipped to a late defeat away to Southend United.

The Imps boss explained how his side will look to improve ahead of Friday's SkyBet League One fixture against Rotherham United at LNER Stadium: “It is helpful going into the new game that we are aware of getting the balance right. I want it from the start, from the kick-off and we will find a way to get that back. Rotherham are strong and quick; they will be difficult to beat.

“You can’t expect to pick up points, especially away from home if you are only going to play for 15 minutes."

Appleton went to speak about his disappointment in today's game at Roots Hall.

“I am really disappointed to have lost the way we did and in the manner we did from a corner but it is a much bigger picture.

"I don’t want the boys to think that certain parts of the game was good enough. But I do want them to think about the bits which I thought were good and the rest of the coaching staff thought were good. If we can repeat that from the start of games, we will have a great chance.”

Michael continued by speaking about the good spells his side showed, explaining how they need to do it all game.

“I think there is a bigger picture today, not just the late goal,” said the Imps boss.

“I thought for 75 to 80 minutes we were really poor. The last 10 to 15 minutes were more to what I expect from us, we were on the front foot, we created more chances and made the goalkeeper work.

“Our quality let us down in the final third, and ultimately that is what matters. There are a lot of decisions players need to make on the pitch and that could be down to nerves or a lack of mentality."

The Imps boss finished by discussing the Imps upcoming games: “We have two big homes games against two different sides, it is a good thing we are playing Rotherham because they will come with their tails up. They will be expecting to turn us over and I like the thought of that because we will be ready."