Magnus Okuonghae feels Colchester United’s upturn in form has been coming for some time.

The U’s centre-half has played his part in an encouraging League One run in recent weeks.

Colchester have lost only one of their last five matches and have kept an impressive four clean sheets in that spell.

It has lifted them to within four points of the top ten and Okuonghae felt it was only a matter of time before they showed such positive form as they develop under the guidance of manager Joe Dunne.

He said: “I think we have been believing in ourselves for a while.

“When you win, everyone has unbelievable things to say about you and when you lose, everyone is ready to nit pick.

“That’s natural, but these types of results have been coming.

“It’s just a matter of us sticking to what we do and eventually it will click.

“That’s the same in any walk of life.

“That is what has happened in the last five games – we’ve had four clean sheets and scored more than we’ve scored in a while.

“Maybe it is all clicking and coming into place now.

“But we can’t get carried away.

“We’ve got a tough game coming up this weekend (at Carlisle United) and we have to use all the experience we’ve had from the bad days when we’ve walked off the pitch with our heads down.

“We have to use that to kick on in the second half of the season.”

Following their 4-0 thrashing by Notts County in mid-December the U’s have conceded just two goals in seven and a half hours of football.

Okuonghae, who is Colchester’s longest-serving outfield player, has been at the heart of the defensive improvement that came after a seven-match run without a shut-out.

And that has delivered a platform for a ten-point haul since the Notts County defeat, with the team averaging two goals a game at the other end.

“It just seems to have clicked into place in defence and in attack,” added the former Dagenham and Redbridge defender.

“When you are keeping clean sheets, you have to capitalise on it and win.

“MK Dons was a very good point built on a clean sheet.

“It always gives you a base to go on and win games.

“As defenders, we’re buzzing off that because that’s our bread and butter, but as a team, we have grafted and it’s a reward for everyone.”

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