SOUTHEND United manager Kevin Bond is keen to see a reaction from his side in this evening’s Carabao Cup first round tie at Stevenage.

Blues conceded three goals in the opening 37 minutes in Saturday’s 3-1 defeat to Blackpool at Roots Hall.

And Bond wants an improved display from his players tonight.

“It’s a really important game for us against Stevenage,” said Bond.

“(I was) really disappointed with the goals we gave away on Saturday and killing ourselves so early on.

“We didn’t give ourselves a chance to be in the game.

“We’re all hugely disappointed and we need to put those things right and make a bold effort to keep a clean sheet.

“I expect a reaction from them.

“We need to start the game and build our way into the game and you can’t do that when you continually shoot yourself in the foot.”

Bond took control of the Shrimpers on a permanent basis in the summer after taking charge for the final six games of the previous campaign which saw the team stay up on the final day with a win against Sunderland.

But the 62-year-old feels it will take time to turn things around.

“We’re a work in progress and we’re making changes,” said the former Bournemouth boss.

“We have to try and get out of the culture the club has been in.

“I don’t like to harp on about it but we can’t help but concede goals and Roots Hall has become a difficult place for us to play with an appalling record from last season.

“We need a siege mentality and our number one aim in the games is to start with a clean sheet.”

Blues have not kept a clean sheet since January.

But Bond expects a tough test against League Two side Stevenage tonight.

“I would expect them to be all over us with a high-tempo,” said Bond.

“I’ve seen them a number of times and it will be a difficult game.

“The manager’s sides always give everything so we’ll need a fast start because we expect one from them.”