COLCHESTER Hockey Club skipper Dean Campbell believes his side will get better and better - when they develop a level of “cohesion”.

Availability and selection issues have led to a stuttering start in East Men’s League division two south and they lost 5-1 at home to Crostyx on Saturday.

It was their second loss in three games.

However, Campbell insists his side are good enough to hold their own and challenge near the top of the table.

“Crostyx weren’t any better than us and the score flattered them,” he said.

“It’s just that we didn’t play as a team.

“We’ve got a lot of new guys, including an influx from university, and need more time together to make sure we’re all on the same page.

“They’re skilful lads and a few of them have played at a high level of hockey.

“But most of them are freshers, so just starting out at university, and haven’t played much together before now.

“It’s going to take time to gel and start playing as a team, rather than individually, and following a game-plan.

“But there are positive signs and we’ll get there.”

Colchester took the lead following a short corner.

Calum Tatum powered home with unstoppable low volley.

However, defensive frailties became clear as the visitors responded by scoring five unanswered goals.

“It was a bit frustrating,” added Campbell, who takes his side Harpenden next Saturday.

“We didn’t defend as a team or in groups and the side we were playing were good enough to exploit us.

“In terms of selection and availability, we’ve had to make a lot of changes in our three matches so far.

“Quite a few have been defensive and we’ve had different line-ups in every game.

“It’s really affected us, because to develop any kind of cohesion takes time.

“However, I still feel confident about our chances.

“We’ve already played the best team, Blueharts.

“But apart from them, we can compete with everyone else and should be challenging near the top of the table.

“We’ve got the skill to compete with the majority of the teams.

“We just need some cohesion.

“A lot of teams have had more time together. We haven’t, but it will come.”

Colchester’s second team beat Southend in division four south-east, thanks to a goal from John Wilson.