It might be a small word but its absence in Colchester United’s away performances is starting to become a real problem.

U’s head coach John McGreal referred to it, in the wake of another away defeat for his side.

Confidence is something that appears to be badly lacking for the U’s on their travels.

While self-assurance seems to be at the forefront in their performances at the Weston Homes Community Stadium, where they are unbeaten in ten league games and have not lost since March, the opposite is sadly true on the road.

In the vast majority of games so far this season, McGreal’s side have had good early chances to score.

The difference has generally been that while at home they have taken them – the U’s have netted within the opening eight minutes in two of their four games they have played at the Community Stadium this season – that has not been the case away from Essex.

Indeed, Colchester have mustered just one goal from open play in their four games on the road this season, compared to ten goals on home soil in the same number of matches.

Not that the U's away-day problems are merely consigned to their profligacy in front of goal.

Worryingly, their problems seems to be at both ends of the pitch on their travels, at the moment.

Their ragged defending at Cheltenham Town offered further alarming evidence of a lack of conviction in both boxes.

They have now conceded ten times away from home, shipping three goals in three of those four away games.

With all due respect to Cheltenham, it was not as if Colchester were playing against a top-of-the-table side at the weekend.

The experienced Gary Johnson is a fine manager but the U’s were up against a team without a win in five League Two matches and who had not managed a goal in more than four a half hours of football.

Yet within the opening 15 minutes of the match, struggling Cheltenham probably could not believe their luck, as they found themselves 2-0 up.

Colchester already find themselves eight points off the automatic promotion places, with eight games gone.

It might still only be early days in the League Two season but the U’s must quickly find a cure for their travel sickness, if it is not to severely damage their prospects this season.