City’s Paudie O’Connor felt he and his team-mates could not have given any more on Tuesday evening as they pushed Premier League Southampton all the way in the Carabao Cup.
The Imps took the lead inside two minutes but, despite battling throughout, were pegged back as the Saints reached the quarter-finals with a 2-1 win. O’Connor, who scored City’s goal by putting Gavin Bazuna under pressure, was proud of the efforts of his team-mates.
He said: “We knew it was going to be tough so the game plan was to be difficult to beat and to make sure we were still in the game with 15 or 20 minutes to go.
“I think we did that and, while the goals we conceded were disappointing from our point of view, we were never carved open and we couldn’t have left any more out there. I think they’ll come away knowing they were in a game, and I’m proud of the boys and feel we could have come out with more.”
O’Connor insisted it is crucial his side follow-up a positive performance with another strong showing against Burton Albion in the Boxing Day clash at the Pirelli Stadium.
He added: “We touched on the positives we can take in the dressing room and how we need to back them up at Burton.
“We have to treat it in the same way we prepared for Southampton and, if we do that, I think we will be in a good position to attack the game and hopefully get maximum points out of it.”
The Imps return to the LNER Stadium over the festive and New Year period with back-to-back fixtures against former Premier League opposition in Bolton Wanderers and Ipswich Town. Ensure you catch all the action and secure your tickets here.