Jon Waldron: My views on the U's

Gazette: Tussle - Colchester United striker Jabo Ibehre battles Tranmere Rovers' Jim McNulty for possession during the U's 2-1 defeat at Prenton Park. Picture: RICHARD BLAXALL Tussle - Colchester United striker Jabo Ibehre battles Tranmere Rovers' Jim McNulty for possession during the U's 2-1 defeat at Prenton Park. Picture: RICHARD BLAXALL

It seems that Colchester United’s players were divided on the chief causes of their defeat at Tranmere Rovers, in their Prenton Park post-mortem.

Apparently, some felt that their loss was predominantly down to their defensive lapses in concentration.

Others subscribed to the view that they put themselves under pressure by not taking their goalscoring opportunities when they came along.

Naturally, their individual school of thought might well have depended on their position in the team and to some extent, their loyalty to their role.

But the casual observer might argue that the U’s 2-1 defeat could be explained by a combination of defensive lapses and attacking profligacy, two key factors that are damaging to any side’s chances.

Of course, it’s not the first time this season that Colchester have been left to rue their inability to seize their chances in front of goal.

Their return of 21 goals from 19 games is somewhat disappointing, though the prolonged absence of key attacking players such as Freddie Sears, Sanchez Watt and Gavin Massey has played a significant part in such a statistic.

What was worrying against Tranmere though was the manner of the U’s defensive lapses, which had been happening far less frequently this season.

To switch off once from a corner was frustrating; to do it twice was infuriating.

No wonder Joe Dunne was raging after the game, having been at pains to point out their opponents’ threat from such set-pieces.

Interestingly, the U’s boss hinted that part of the reason for the manner of the goals they conceded was psychological.

“It comes down to a mindset where they believe they’re not going to lose and I can’t physically go out there and do it myself,” said Dunne.

Colchester now have a fortnight between competitive games to take stock of their season, as they approach the halfway point of the campaign.

It seems clear they will need to sharpen up at both ends of the pitch if they are to push towards the top half of the table and avoid being dragged into a second successive battle for survival.

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