Lincoln City forward, Tom Hopper, says the second half performance against Rotherham United on Tuesday evening must be the blueprint for his side over the remainder of the season.
Whilst he insists the first half performance was not good enough, the striker says the squad need to replicate the levels that nearly saw the Imps earn a point at the league-leaders as they move onto Saturday’s fixture against Sunderland.
Tom said: “With how we started the game by giving away the goals that we did, and then to show those performance levels in the second half, it’s frustrating. We threw everything at them and there are positives to be taken, but things to be learnt from that first half; although we showed what were capable of doing to teams who are top of the league.
“It has to be the blueprint: we’re only cheating ourselves if we don’t try and match that and better it each week. We know what we’re capable of, we must apply ourselves in the right way to prove that and try and match that level of performance.”
On a personal level, Tom said he was happy to contribute after scoring his first goal since his return from injury and is looking forward to the support on Saturday which he believes can help see his team-mates over the line.
He added: “Fitness-wise, I’m getting there. This was my first Saturday - Tuesday since I’ve been back so I was feeling it a little towards the end, but I need that. Now I have time to recover and it’s a case of building on that.
“I know the lads will be looking forward to Sunderland, it will be a great atmosphere. We’ve had a few good games against them over the years but we’re focussed on ourselves and we know the fans will back us all the way. It’s another big club coming to Lincoln and we’re looking forward to the challenge.”