Magnus Okuonghae has insisted Colchester United can avoid relegation this season – despite their disastrous defeat against Tranmere Rovers.

The U’s were thrashed 5-1 by Rovers and are three points adrift of safety in the League One relegation zone, with 13 games to go.

Colchester’s players looked shell-shocked at the final whistle, following their joint heaviest defeat of the season.

But ahead of their home game against in-form Yeovil Town tomorrow night, defender Okuonghae said the U’s must believe that they can stay in the third tier despite suffering their third defeat in four matches.

Okuonghae said: “We just have to work hard and get ourselves out of this situation that we’re in.

“We have to learn from it and we have to learn fast.

“Once you’re down there, it’s very difficult to get out of it.

“But we believe that we have enough to get out of the situation that we’re in."

For more reaction to the U's defeat against Tranmere Rovers, along with a full match report and pictures from the game, see Monday's Gazette.