Mark Molesley admitted Southend need to turn draws into wins as they continued their fight for Football League safety with a creditable 1-1 draw at promotion-chasing Morecambe.
A goal from Timothee Dieng gave the Shrimpers a dream start against Derek Adams’s high-fliers but a superb Cole Stockton leveller early in the second half earned the home side a share of the spoils to keep Southend five points from safety with six games to go.
Molesley said: “The boys have given everything out there against a very good Morecambe side riding high in the play-offs and with some very good players, who showed why they are up there.
“We got ahead and blocked them out for large spells of the game but you have to give credit to Stockton for his equaliser.
“The game ebbed and flowed and we are battling and fighting and we blocked them out for large periods. A draw here on a Tuesday night would normally be a good result but we know we need wins at the moment.
“I am proud of the lads because we have a few players missing but they are giving everything. We got into some good positions and caused them a few problems and we have to continue to show the fight we showed tonight.
“We felt a bit sorry for ourselves after the defeat at the weekend and we can’t afford to do that in our final six games. We’ve got a massive game at the weekend now and we are fully focused on that.”
Southend started the game on the front foot and took a deserved lead on 18 minutes through Dieng from Elvis Bwomono’s right-wing cross.
Stockton went close with a shot on the turn before levelling on 54 minutes with a stunning volley from the edge of the box that beat Mark Oxley low to his left.
Morecambe pressed for the winner, with Aaron Wildig and John O’Sullivan firing efforts over the bar and Oxley saving smartly from Stockton, while Southend also threatened on the break.
Morecambe boss Adams was disappointed his side failed to get the three points they needed to move into the promotion spots but praised both sides for their performances.
He said: “I thought it was a good game between two sides at either end of the table who showed they wanted to win the match.
“They are fighting for survival while we are battling for promotion and both teams showed that fight.
“We went behind to a really good goal and we had to work hard to get back into the game against a good team who I think shouldn’t be where they are in the league.
“My players had to show a lot of character to get back into the game and we created some good openings and scored a fantastic goal through Cole Stockton.
“It looked like we would go on to win the game from there but we couldn’t get the second despite creating some good openings and we take the point and move on.
“The lads were disappointed not to win the game obviously but I can’t fault their attitude.”