COLCHESTER United boss Matty Etherington is encouraging his players to talk about how they can improve their stuttering form.

The U’s have lost their last three games in League Two and were beaten 3-1 at Doncaster Rovers, on Tuesday night.

Colchester’s players held talks as a team in the aftermath of the defeat at the Eco-Power Stadium, which left them in 21st position in the table.

And head coach Etherington says he is happy for his squad to talk about how they can improve and get back on track.

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Etherington said: “The players talked among themselves in the changing room afterwards which I like and I want them to do, on where the issues are and it’s good for us coaching staff to hear that.

“They’re a good group, they really are and they stick together.

“We had some conversations in the changing room afterwards on as to why we started the second half so slowly, because I need them to tell us.

“Do they need to do some extra bits when they first come out onto the pitch, before the start of the second half, anything that can switch them on a little bit?

“Or is it a case of them leading it themselves and making sure they’re starting halves well and that they’re together as a group and that they’re sending the right messages?

Gazette: Matty Etherington

“We’ll look into that but we definitely need to start halves of football better.”

Colchester picked up a further four bookings at Doncaster and have the fifth worst disciplinary record in League Two, with 47 yellow cards and four reds, to date.

The U’s were missing both Jayden Fevrier and Samson Tovide due to suspension in midweek.

Etherington said: “We lost our way a little bit in terms of bookings (against Doncaster) and maybe emotionally and that happened (against Barrow) too.

“I can’t tell the players how to control their emotions; they’ve got to deal with that themselves.”

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Colchester have created plenty of opportunities over recent games but have only found the net twice times, in their last three matches.

Etherington added: “We’re still creating chances but the difference is that we were taking them when I first came in and we’re not doing that, at the minute.

“That’s football; it’s part of it.”