HAYDEN Mullins admits Colchester United must solve their problem of conceding early goals if they are to move away from the League Two relegation zone.

The U's have fallen behind inside the first 24 minutes in five of their last six matches, in all competitions.

Mullins says they must address the fact that they are shipping early goals, as they bid to halt their losing run.

And the U's head coach believes conceding in the opening stages of games could be a psychological issue for his players.

Mullins said: “It’s something that we’re going to have to try and address.

“The way we start games has got to be better.

“Whether that’s something that we do kind of mentally with them, we’ll have to have a look at.

“But we are switching off in areas of the pitch where it’s hurting us.

“We’ve spoken about the bits we need to knit together to start having 95-minute performances.

“There were loads of positives to take from the Forest Green game but we also know that we need to start getting results, because that’s the way football is."


Colchester are also aiming to improve at the other end of the pitch, having managed just one goal in their last four league games.

The U's goal tally of 17 is currently the lowest in League Two.

However, Colchester did create plenty of chances in their 2-0 defeat at Forest Green Rovers, on Tuesday night.

They were denied on several occasions by home keeper Luke McGee and Mullins was encouraged by the number of opportunities they created, against the league leaders.

“If one goes in, hopefully we’ll get quite a few to follow," said Mullins.

“The pleasing thing is that we’re getting people in the right areas, which is good.

“Deflections for them are going at the moment and a couple for us are staying out or going the wrong side of the post.

“We’ll keep working – we won’t let it get us down and that’s the only way we can be.

“Football is a cruel game and sometimes where (Forest Green) are, you can just keep putting your team out and they get goals and things go for them.

“At the moment, things are going for them and they’re dropping in the right areas for them.

“For us, it’s a situation where we need to start knitting performances together for 95 minutes and not switching off and giving away cheap goals.


“The one thing about the group is to let them know where we went wrong and that we are disappointed but also that there are some big positives to take from what we did.

“There are loads of bits to build from.

“To go down early and not cave in or collapse or drop onto the back foot was pleasing.

“We still stayed strong in what we were doing and we believed in what we were doing.

“There were some really good bits at times and we created some excellent chances.

“The difference is that their chance goes in off the back of someone whereas (Cole) Skuse gets one on the edge of the box and the deflection goes wide.

“The difference at the moment is that; it’s margins and we’re keeping positive.