So what has happened to Joe Dunne’s Midas touch?

After all, it was only last month that Colchester United were a resurgent force in League One under their passionate and popular new manager and life was rosy at the Weston Homes Community Stadium.

An impressive run of five wins in six league matches saw the U’s rise from a position hovering above the relegation zone in League One to the sanctuary of mid-table, playing exhilarating and exciting football.

But since they conceded two goals in three minutes to squander a two-goal lead and draw 2-2 at Shrewsbury Town a fortnight ago, they have not looked the same force.

An FA Cup exit at neighbours Chelmsford City and two straight league defeats have followed.

The defensive solidity witnessed in Dunne’s opening games as John Ward’s successor has vanished, replaced by an alarming fragility that has seen Colchester ship ten goals in four games.

Dunne himself admitted that there appears to be a worrying lack of belief and mental frailty among his players, perhaps a knock-on effect from their disappointing start to the campaign.

Over recent games, the U’s have looked extremely vulnerable at certain times and a lack of leadership has proved detrimental to their hopes of fighting back in matches, when the going gets tough.

In addition, Sanchez Watt’s hamstring injury has been a big blow and the Arsenal loanee has been missed, in recent games.

But Dunne has made no secret of the fact that there will be ups and downs this season, as he impresses his philosophy on his players.

Of course, there is disappointment over recent results but a sense of perspective is needed.

While Dunne’s honeymoon period may be over, the feel-good factor is still alive.

With no game tonight, the U’s now have a week to take stock of what has happened in recent games and try to rediscover the confidence that helped them successfully match attacking prowess with defensive strength, just a few weeks ago.

And with back-to-back home games against sides below them in the table to follow, now is the time for Colchester to rediscover their spirit and the kind of form that earned them so many plaudits in the early part of Dunne’s reign.