Despite the Imps missing out on the points this evening, City boss Michael Appleton was pleased with his side’s performance.
The Imps manager spoke to press following Friday night’s fixture at LNER Stadium explaining how he will be hoping for a similar performance going into Tuesday night’s SkyBet League One fixture against MK Dons.
“Our performance was excellent, but it is a frustrating result today. We limited them to two chances and made their goalkeeper work tonight,” said Appleton.
“From a performance point of view the boys realise how hard they have played but we are disappointed not to get points. I think we have played three top-six sides in the last few games and they have all been different.
“My message to the players was that the crowd and atmosphere was incredible, so you expect the lads to respond to that. I got what I expected but we need to bring that again on Tuesday against the teams around us.
“If we go into Tuesday’s game with the same mindset as we did at Southend, we will lose the game and I am not prepared to go through that.”
Appleton went on to discuss the game in detail saying: “We got hit on the counter, but from then the lads could have caved in and they didn’t, they showed desire to get back into the game but were unfortunate.
“It was a complete mix in terms of the physicality and height between the two teams, we weren’t going to win many first contacts, but we could take control with the second and third contact, we were aware of that and did it well.
“I told the boys how well we had done with the opportunities we had but it is so important we do that again next week now. We passed the ball really well and we have been unfortunate today, I am sure we will come up with goals. The header from Jorge was an incredible save so we can come away with some good signs tonight.”
The Imps boss finished by speaking about individual performances including debutants Anthony Scully and Liam Bridcutt.
“(Anthony) Scully came off the bench and did everything I said he would, he is a little pocket rocket but the bigger picture for us is way down the line,” explained Appleton.
“He is the type of player where you think the opposition will take it off him, but he has great strength and is an incredible kid, the Lincoln City fans will absolutely love him over time.
“Liam (Bridcutt) is a good player with experience and that is what we wanted to play the way I want us to do. Him and Joe (Morrell) played well together and having Liam in there allowed Joe to get forward more than he usually would, so the balance was good.
“Young Jake (Hesketh) looked back to his best at times and he had some good spells in possession.
“Tyreece (John-Jules) is gutted in the changing room, he feels he should have taken one of his chances but that is his attitude and for an 18-year-old kid to be like that is great to see. He will be an exceptional footballer in 18 months’ time, and he played very well tonight.”