SOUTHEND United manager Phil Brown has called on his side to put a marker down at Coventry City tonight.
The seventh placed Shrimpers head into the game against League One’s bottom team on the back of three matches without a win.
And Brown is desperate for Blues to produce an improved performance at the Ricoh Arena.
“It’s about putting a marker down for the last 10 games of the season,” said the Shrimpers chief.
“A few harsh words were said after the defeat to Bristol Rovers on Saturday and they were said by myself and the players as well.
“I’ve analysed what they’ve said and looked at how to put it right because it’s important we go and do that tonight.”
Blues go into the clash at Coventry sitting four points behind the play-offs having played a game more than sixth placed Millwall.
The Lions are again not in action this evening.
But, despite making remarks to the contrary on Saturday, Brown is refusing to give up on securing a top six finish.
“It’s not the last chance saloon and we have to keep going,” said the Blues boss.
“ If you stop trying then it’s a waste of time and we have to keep believing it’s possible.
“I wrote it off after Saturday because I was trying to take the pressure off the group but it’s really just this one game we’re focusing on at the moment and doing all we can to win it.”
However, for that to happen, Brown believes Blues must make a strong start to the game against an out of form Coventry.
“We’ve started the last three or four games poorly and that can’t happen again,” said Brown.
“We need a good start and we need to put Coventry on the back foot because they’re in a bad moment and we have to compound what they’re going through.”
But it looks like being a changed Shrimpers side bidding to make that happen as Brown has a trio of injury concerns ahead of the game.
“I want to keep it quiet who they are but there are serious doubts over three of the 14 players who played on Saturday,” said Brown.
Stephen McLaughlin, Nile Ranger, John White and Luke Amos are among those pushing for a start.