Gavin Massey admits Colchester United’s players must take part responsibility for Joe Dunne’s departure as manager.

Dunne has left after nearly two years in the U’s hot seat, following a run of five successive league and cup defeats.

Massey was a regular under Dunne, clocking up nearly 50 appearances for Colchester during the Irishman’s time in charge.

And the 21-year-old attacker concedes the club’s players need to share part of the blame for Dunne’s surprise exit.

Massey said: “I think we as players have to take part responsibility for the manager going.

“There have been games that we’ve lost that we should have won.

“But we’ve been playing really well and it’s just unfortunate.

“These things happen in football and you just have to get on with it.

“It was a shock but you can’t dwell on those kind of things.

“The gaffer has been great for me and some of the other younger players.

“He’s helped me to play first-team football and I’d like to say thanks for everything he’s done for me.

“But we have to go again with the new gaffer in charge.”

Massey is now preparing for Colchester’s trip to play fellow strugglers Walsall tomorrow.

The game is Tony Humes’ first as U’s boss and the former Watford youngster has revealed the managerial change has generated an extra buzz among the squad.

“A new manager keeps everyone on their toes,” said Massey, who signed permanently for Colchester in August 2012.

“I’m not saying we weren’t before but everyone wants to impress the new man and a new manager taking over gives you an extra buzz.

“Walsall are a good footballing side - they keep the ball well and so do we so it should be a good game.

“We’re both in the bottom three but that doesn’t really mean anything at this stage of the season.

“Two wins can propel you up to the top half of the table.

“But the boys are desperate for a win and we’ll go there full of confidence, because we’re playing well.”

For a three-page preview of Colchester's game at Walsall tomorrow, see Friday's Daily Gazette.