Club captain Adam Collin spoke about the disappointment felt in the dressing on Saturday evening after the unbeaten five-game run was ended at the Jobserve Community Stadium in Colchester.
“It’s very disappointing, unacceptable really,” he told us. “From start to finish I thought we were really poor … well below the levels we should be hitting as a group.
“Maybe we did ok in the first 25 minutes, but it’s 90 minutes of football that matters. I think you could see the difference between the two teams, one’s at the top of the league and one’s at the bottom.
“Ryan Loft probably should have scored at the back post early on but the better team won by far.”
And on how that left him feeling, he said: “Very frustrated. I’m biting my tongue at times. It’s the first defeat under the new manager and we thought we’d sort of turned a corner.
“Again, we’ve got a tough period of games coming up and today was the first one where we really lacked all over the pitch.
“All three goals were poor as far as we’re concerned, even the free-kick. The foul that led to it, we shouldn’t be doing that on the edge of our area, giving the lad the opportunity to put it in the top bin.
“The first two goals were individual mistakes, people switching off at vital times, so we’ve gone backwards a little bit there. It just really is massively disappointing and we feel like we’ve let the fans down.
“It should be a good crowd on Boxing Day and we need to repay them for that display today. We need to bounce back and have a reaction, show them that we do care and that there’s something there to be proud of as fans.
“We need to have a long, hard look at ourselves over the next few days and be ready for Boxing Day. We’ve got a big, big period of games, it doesn’t get any easier, we’ve got Bradford, Walsall, Crewe and Plymouth, and in between we’ve got Cardiff in the cup.
“Tough games, a tough period coming up, and we’ve got injuries and illness to deal with as well. That’s where your squad comes into it. Over the season you need 20-odd players to get you through, it’s a real test of the squad, but we have to stand up to it.”
“Obviously I can only apologise for the performance,” he added. “It’s not acceptable and we’ll be doing everything possible to put that right.
“As to how we do that ... I think there could be more honesty. I think a few people need a wake-up call and really have a look at themselves individually, and as a collective unit.
“We’ve got to start getting it right. Last weekend Grimsby hit the bar, hit the post, could have turned us over. It’s not just this weekend, it’s been bubbling and Bradford’s very tough, they’re at the other end of the table, with good players and good squad, so it’s not going to be easy.
“The frustrating thing is that we should be better than this with the players we have. We could probably do with some experience, some game and pitch know-how, there’s a bit of naivety in there, so we need to improve on everything that goes into being a good, solid football team.
“The senior players have a part to play to help the manager. I’ve said all along, even before I was captain, if something needs saying in the dressing room, I’ll say it. If people don’t like to hear it I don’t really care, I’ll say it. A few people need to have a long, hard look at themselves.
“We need to take care of our own business, that’s the bottom line, and we should be able to. There’s enough experienced boys who have played enough games, so hopefully we’ll turn it around.
“I do think we need to strengthen in January, that’s blatantly obvious. But I don’t think there’ll be massive changes, we have to be able to turn it around, there’s no two ways about it.
“I’m happy with my own form, I’m trying to be as consistent as I can, like last season, but getting this right is down to the group. We’ve all got to stand up and take responsibility because where we are right now simply isn’t good enough.”
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