COLCHESTER United head coach Hayden Mullins admits he was left hurting by his side's disappointing 2-0 home loss at the hands of Barrow.

The U's tumbled to defeat against their fellow strugglers, at the JobServe Community Stadium.

An own goal from debutant Tom Dallison just after half-time gave the Bluebirds the lead, before substitute Josh Kay sealed the visitors win in stoppage-time.

The defeat leaves Colchester three points above the League Two relegation zone.

Mullins said: “It’s disappointing to get beaten, especially by a team not far away from us.

“Every time you lose a game, it hurts and we’re not happy.

“We can’t keep letting the opposition go ahead.

“We’re getting chances to go goals up and we either miss them or don’t take them and then the opposition are punishing us.

“We were flat at the start of the second half – we were almost waiting for the opposition to score to wake us up.

“Then we woke up at the end and started creating chances but we’re already a goal down and we have to start being more professional in terms of what we’re doing.

“Their first goal came from the opposition making us defend the ball in a horrible area with a bit of pace.

“We need to start making sure we hurt the opposition in terms of pinning them back and really believing that we’re going to win the game.”

Some Colchester fans called for Mullins to go during the second half but the U's boss said his focus was fully on the game.

Mullins said: “That’s the nature of the job – I knew that when I came into it.

“That wasn’t my focus if I’m being honest with you today.

“It was more about getting back into the game.

"We have to react.

"I'm annoyed with what we did today in terms of our performance but there's still a long way to go in the season.

"Today's performance is the most annoying thing and what we put out there."