WILL Atkinson has urged his Southend United team-mates to not let their FA Cup defeat to Hull City derail their push for promotion.

Blues were beaten 2-0 by the Tigers despite producing a spirited performance against the Premier League Tigers at Roots Hall.

But Atkinson now wants the Shrimpers to remain on form.

And the midfielder is confident they will be able bounce back in a positive manner, starting with tomorrow night’s trip to Dagenham & Redbridge.

“The league has always been the main aim for us this season, we can’t afford to let it affect us and I’m sure we won’t,” said Atkinson.

“We’re disappointed to have lost the game but it was a good experience and we put in a good performance against a team in the Premier League.

“However, we have an even more important game at Dagenham now and we have to make sure we’re really up for that one because we need to get back to picking up points.”

Atkinson will again be aiming to play a prominent part at Victoria Road and he feels the Shrimpers can go in to the game in a confident frame of mind after matching Hull for large parts of Saturday’s game.

Blues fought hard against the Tigers.

And that impressed Atkinson.

“I didn’t think there was much to choose between the teams, especially in the first half and we have to be pleased with that,” said Atkinson, who started his career with Hull.

“I think we at least deserved to score a goal and if we had got the first one then it could have been different and we might have been favourites to go on and win it.

“But it wasn’t to be and now we have to go and make sure we do the business in the league and go on to get promotion this season because we’ve shown we have the talent and team spirit to do it.”