SOUTHEND United boss Kevin Maher says there is no hiding the Shrimpers’ need for points following Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to York City at Roots Hall.

A last minute goal from Minstermen substitute Lenell John-Lewis condemned Blues to their third straight loss.

And only goal difference now separates the Shrimpers from the National League relegation zone.

“We are where we are and we can’t hide away from the fact we need results,” said Maher.

“But don’t forget the 10 points.

“I won’t gloss over the position we’re in but we have been done by the 10 points we lost.

“We’ve put that to bed and forgotten about it but we’ve got to get results.

“We do that by sticking together and the fans have been brilliant for large parts of the game again.

“But we’ve got to give them something and take chances.

“Defensively you’re under pressure too when you don’t take chances.”

Blues – who were deducted 10 points for financial irregularities – have now failed to score in their last three games.

And Maher wants his side to take more risks when on the attack.

“We need to be brave in the final third and not just play it safe,” said Maher.

“We don’t want them to walk it in, we want them to put their foot through it.

“We’ve had chances and hit the woodwork again too.

“We’ve had three forwards on the pitch at the end trying to score as well.”

However, Blues were ultimately undone late on with John-Lewis firing home following a left wing corner from Danny Amos.

And Maher was clearly hurting at the final whistle.

“We’re bitterly disappointed,” said the 47-year-old.

“We conceded so late from a set-piece we had highlighted they do.

“We switched off and it’s fallen to someone in the six yard box who should be marked.

“It’s cost us the game.”

The Shrimpers, who are 19th in the table, now face a crunch clash at bottom of the table Oxford City this weekend.

And Maher is urging one of his strikers to start taking the initiative in front of goal.

“I know people will moan and say we play too much and pass it here and there but we do want to get into the final third as quickly as possible,” said Maher.

“We haven’t got a striker to grab hold of the game and say come on put it in the net.

“Cards (Harry Cardwell) does ever so well as our top scorer but we’re all frustrated.

“Some of the football is top drawer but you can play as well as you want, you have to win games.”