FIACRE Kelleher believes some ‘tough love’ is needed by Colchester United to end their League Two losing run.

The U’s have suffered three successive league defeats, following the 3-1 reverse at Doncaster Rovers on Tuesday.

Colchester have looked particularly vulnerable from set pieces over recent games, with two of the goals they conceded at the Eco-Power Stadium coming from dead ball situations.

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And with their next competitive game not until next Tuesday, centre-back Kelleher feels it is a good time to take stock.

Kelleher said: “We need a bit of tough love between each other and to just be more honest and demand more from each other.

“Sometimes, letting people know when they’ve made a mistake is an important thing; when I was younger, I was let know if I’d made a mistake and it’s the only way you can learn.

“It hurts for a little while but you go out in the next game and you make sure your man’s not scoring.


“We’re not doing the basics well enough, at the moment.

“It’s up to us to man up.

“Football is tough at times and you have to come through these tough times.

“With this coming week, we have plenty of time to work on things, man up a little bit with a bit of tough love, accept what’s happened, move on and make sure it doesn’t happen anymore.”

Kelleher made his first league start for Colchester in nearly three months in the midweek defeat at Doncaster.

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The 27-year-old defender had been sidelined due to a groin injury and says he feels physically sharp, after returning to action.

Kelleher added: “I feel like I’ve done it right this time - I feel back to being fit and healthy and strong.

“Personally it went OK (against Doncaster) and I just need to start helping out my team-mates.”

Gazette: Fiacre Kelleher

Kelleher admits Colchester need to improve at defending set pieces, if they are to move away from the League Two relegation zone.

The U’s have conceded nine goals in their last three league matches, including two in the defeat at Doncaster.

Kelleher added: “It’s hard because there are good things in there but there’s no point talking about that really, because we’re just letting each other down at those vital little set-piece moments where we’re not strong enough.

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“It’s incredibly frustrating because every time they get a corner, they look like they’re going to get a head on it.

“Every team we’re coming up at the minute I’d imagine is saying ‘they’re soft on set pieces, they’re soft on the basics so play on that side of them’.

“Whether we need to make it more man to man marking I don’t know but we need to change it, as it’s our Achilles heel at the minute."