SOUTHEND Saxons face promotion rivals Colchester tomorrow determined to get back to their best.

Southend, who are fourth in the London One North standings, were beaten 41-17 by Eton Manor at Warners Bridge on Saturday.

And fly-half Ben Lloyd is keen to bounce back in another crunch clash.

“It’s two teams towards the top end of the league going head-to-head, so naturally it’s what people would classify as a big game,” said Lloyd.

“We’ve spoken this week about the game against them earlier in the season so that’s definitely in the mix in terms of motivation but for us it’s not personal.

“What’s more important for us is finishing with a strong run of performances now.

“Finishing in second place is out of our hands. It would depend on other results going our way, but with the way the league has gone this season I’d never say never.

“Our focus now is Colchester tomorrow and producing a performance we’re happy with.

“Then we move onto next week and hopefully we get to the end of the year and we’ve strung together a run of wins.”

Third-placed Colchester - who won 24-21 at Warners Bridge in October - are one place and two points above Southend.

But Saxons will be heading into the clash frustrated to have been beaten last time out.

“Saturday’s game was extremely frustrating,” said Lloyd.

“We couldn’t get ourselves onto the front foot for large parts of it and, as a result of that, we struggled to impose ourselves on the game in the way we wanted to. All credit to Eton Manor, I thought they were really good and it was clear they were fired up for it but it was disappointing for us because that was a real chance for us to cement our promotion hopes.”

However, Lloyd is eager to respond to the setback in the right way.

“It goes one of two ways after a result like that but I’ve got every confidence in the character of this group that we’ll bounce back with a good performance this weekend,” said Lloyd.

“The signs of that happening were there on Tuesday night, it was a really good session and I think everyone’s focused on getting back to winning ways.”

And Lloyd is certain Southend can stay up towards the top of the table.

“I don’t think anyone’s thinking that we won’t be up there,” said Lloyd.

“We owe it to ourselves to finish the season strongly. Everyone makes a lot of sacrifices over the course of the season that you don’t necessarily see, so we want to acquit ourselves as well as we can.”