HAYDEN Mullins insists all his Colchester United players have a responsibility to contribute goals – and not just his strikers.

The U’s have found the net only seven times in League Two so far this season and have failed to score in any of their last four matches.

Colchester have not netted from open play in any of their first four home league matches, at the JobServe Community Stadium.

And as they prepare to resolve that against Harrogate Town this weekend, U’s head coach Mullins says the onus is on all of his outfield players to be chipping in with goals, not just their forwards.

Mullins said: “The goals have got to come from all over the pitch.

“When we played Tranmere, Peter Clarke’s two goals came from set plays in their previous game and then he pops up with one against us.

“We’ve got to start chipping in from all over the field, from midfield, from the back, from set plays and from the front two.

“It’s everyone’s responsibility and everyone has to chip in.

“If someone gets a chance or there’s a ball from a set play which you’ve got to go and attack and make sure it goes in the back of the net, then we’ve got to do it.

“If it falls to a striker and he’s got a chance to take it, then hopefully he’ll take it.

“You can’t just put pressure on the front lads – I don’t think it’s fair and it’s never been the way in any of the teams that I’ve been involved in, as a player and as a coach.

“If you look at the chances and shot maps after games, you’ll see that chances fall all over the pitch, you really do.

“Sometimes, it’s Charlie Daniels popping up with a shot in a wide post area, so it really is a team game.

“The strikers will always get looked at and picked apart but it’s the ten outfield lads on the pitch in my head all have a responsibility to score, just as on the flip side we all have a responsibility to defend.

“They’ve got a job out of possession, and they know what they should be doing, when we haven’t got the ball.

“When there’s a time to score, we all have to chip in.”


Spot on - Colchester United forward Freddie Sears scores from the spot against Mansfield Town Picture: STEVE BRADING

Colchester are aiming to return to winning ways against Harrogate, after back-to-back defeats in League Two.

The U’s are looking to bounce back after losing 2-0 at Tranmere Rovers, last Friday.

“It’s good to have a free week sometimes, to really get back to work,” added Mullins.

“It’s good to put the result behind you.

“I think the performance and the endeavour at times and the work rate from the last game, I was quite pleased with.

“Tranmere are a good side and it goes without saying that we have to give them credit – I think they’ll be right up there.

“But we had chances in the game where we could have definitely got one back and maybe made it a little bit closer, on the night.

“It was certainly no disgrace to get beat 2-0 by a very good side, in my opinion.

“They’re a side who play very well at home and get the tempo up and make it difficult for opponents.

“For large periods, I was very happy with the group but it goes without saying that another goal would have made it a bit closer.”