Ian Evatt underlined to his players that they cannot keep relying on late comebacks if they are to continue climbing the table.
No team in the division is more lethal than the Whites in the last 15 minutes who boast a record of 12 goals scored and just three conceded in the dying embers of the game.
But Evatt is keen to see his side make it easier for themselves by capitalising on earlier periods of dominance, something he feels could be important at Roots Hall on Saturday.
“We have to show a different side to our character at Southend,” he told The Bolton News. “I don’t want us to be 2-0 down before we get going. I want us to start stamping our authority on games much earlier on.
“I think the game against Stevenage we should have been out of sight but gave ourselves work to do, it was the same at Mansfield where we should have been ahead at half time.
“We need to give ourselves that platform. When we have grabbed the opposition round the throat we have to seal the deal, make sure we strangle them and finish the job. Sometimes I think we have let people off the hook and allowed teams back into the game.
“I want us to develop that ruthless and clinical edge now. When you are on top, go for the jugular and see the game off.”
Southend have bounced back from a four-game losing streak to beat Newport and take a point from promotion-chasers Cambridge United in their last two outings.
Evatt will not be reading too much into league position, knowing his own players will be feeling the after-effects of a gruelling game at Mansfield on Wednesday night.
“They have certainly got threats and some good results,” he said of Southend. “We won’t take anything for granted there. We’ll be going full tilt to win the game and respect the opposition.
“I thought they were a much better side than people were giving them credit for earlier in the season and even the 3-0 game here they had a chance at 0-0 that Matt (Gilks) saved and the game could have been very different.
“We’ll go there and give them our respect but look to bring home three points.”