Freddie Sears insists Colchester United can take plenty of positives from their 2-0 defeat at Port Vale, despite the disappointing result.
The U's played for the first time in more than three weeks on Tuesday night but had nothing to show for their efforts, after Doug Loft's brace gave the Valiants all three points on a heavy Vale Park pitch.
Sears played for the final half hour of the game after coming on as a substitute to make his second appearance since recovering from a hamstring injury.
Sears said: “I think the performance was good on a heavy, hard pitch and in the end, we were beaten by two sloppy goals.
“I think it showed that we hadn’t had a game for three weeks in the first half and we were a little bit rusty.
“I had a few chances and the second half was really positive - I don’t know how we didn’t score.
“The manager picked Doug Loft out before the game and said that we had to watch him.
“But he popped up pretty early on in the game to score and we were on the backfoot.
“I think half-time probably came at the wrong time for us but I thought we looked good out there in the second half.
“Unfortunately, they scored against the run of play and it was always going to be hard for us to come back from that.
“We have to take positives.
“It was a tough pitch and we passed the ball quite well in difficult conditions.
“There were some good performances out there and it was the scoreline that let us down in the end."
For a full match report, stats and pictures from the U's game at Port Vale, see Wednesday's Daily Gazette.