Tom Eastman insists there will be no danger of burnout as he steels himself for Colchester United’s important run-in.

The reliable defender is the only U’s squad member to have played every single minute of every league and cup game this season.

Eastman’s consistent form has put him firmly in the running to retain his U’s Player of the Year award.

And with just eight games left for Colchester to secure their League One status, the 23-year-old says fatigue will not be a factor in the final weeks of the campaign.

Eastman said: “I think it’s the most that I’ve played in my career, in one season.

“I’ve played every game so far so it’s nice that I’ve kept going, even with different defensive partners.

“I’m feeling good - I’m still young so I don’t really feel it too much.

“Maybe if I were ten years older, I’d be feeling it a bit more but I’m feeling quite fresh.

“I think I’ve played well this season and I just want to keep that up.

“I’ve worked with the manager before and I think he has confidence in me.

“As long as I keep doing my job and doing what I’m told, hopefully I can keep that spot for the rest of the season.

“It would be good to go through the whole season without missing a game.

“I’ve missed a few games through injury over the last few seasons so touch wood, I’ll be injury free.”

Eastman has already had a dozen different central defensive partners at Colchester, this season.

But the former Ipswich Town defender feels any instability at the heart of the U’s back four has not affected him.

Bongani Khumalo is Eastman’s latest partner, following the South African’s loan move from Tottenham Hotspur.

He said: “I try to concentrate on myself and as long as I’m doing what I’m doing well, it’s not a big difference.

“They all have their different attributes and strengths and weaknesses and I don’t think too much about my defensive partner.”

Tom Eastman’s central defensive partners this season: Magnus Okuonghae, Frankie Kent, Karleigh Osborne, Bongani Khumalo, Kaspars Gorkss, Alex Wynter, Will Packwood, Jamie Harney, Alex Gilbey, David Wright, Cole Kpekawa, Sean Clohessy.

For all of the latest Colchester United news, including Sam Walker's exclusive weekly column, see Thursday's Daily Gazette.