MATTY Etherington insists there is still plenty of togetherness within his Colchester United squad, despite their four-match losing run in League Two.

The U’s lie just one place – and five points – above the relegation zone following their 2-1 defeat at Crawley Town, at the JobServe Community Stadium.

It has been a tough time for Etherington and his U’s players over recent games but the U’s boss says they are all desperate to rediscover some form.

Etherington said: “This squad is very, very together; there's no worry there.

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"I just think we need to have that little bit more quality at times, along with more calmness and be better in both boxes.

“I think if you saw the way the game was going on that pitch, you could have visibly told if the players had chucked it in and stopped working for me and my staff and themselves first and foremost and their families.

“They’re engaged; they want to win games for this football club – there’s no doubt about that.

“They’re just not getting the rub of the green at the minute.”


Etherington handed a first league start of the season to Matt Jay against Crawley.

The former Exeter City attacker played 76 minutes, before being replaced by Chay Cooper.

Jay’s withdrawal was met with boos from some U’s fans but Etherington said the decision to substitute him was nothing to do with his performance.

He said: “Matt’s a clever footballer and I thought his performance was a decent one.

“He tired towards the end and that’s why I took him off, just to freshen it up a little bit.

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“He’s had two games in the space of four days and he’s not played a lot of football.

“The sports scientist is speaking to me and saying his metres per minute had really dropped off quite rapidly and he tired; he’s going to tire on this pitch.

“That’s why I did it – it was nothing to do with his performance.


“I’m big on letting players have a voice in meetings and whenever Matt speaks, he speaks a lot of sense.

“He moved his family all the way to Essex and has not had the time that he probably would have liked on the pitch.”