Frankie Kent says becoming a regular for Colchester United has helped him improve as a footballer.

The 22-year-old clocked up 41 league and cup appearances for the U’s in the 2017-18 season, the most he has registered in any campaign so far in his professional career.

Only four outfield players made more league appearances for John McGreal’s side during their most recent season – and defender Kent says that is something for him to build on next time around.

Kent, who made his professional debut back in May, 2014, said: “I feel like I’ve developed and every year, you get better at certain things.

“There are still things that I have to get better at and I feel I could have done better, this season but the general playing week in, week out has helped me a lot.

“I’ve been here for a long time now, so I try to help the boys coming in from the academy as much as I can.

“I’ve been in this division for a while now and I’ve learnt to deal with it, along with the seasons before in League One.

“I can’t use anything as an excuse, now.

“We know teams are very physical in this league like Wycombe and Lincoln this season but we know our style of football and how we want to play.”

Colchester are planning ahead of a third successive season in League Two, where their main objective will once again be promotion.

The U’s finished 13 points shy of the play-off places in their last campaign but Kent insists they must build on the positives they enjoyed, last time around.

“I think we have a platform to build from,” said centre-back Kent, who is contracted to Colchester until 2020.

“I feel that we need to start stronger than we did this year. We dropped a lot of points in the first six or seven games and even had we won two or three then, we’d have been higher up.

“There’s a lot for us to build on. We were disappointed as we just fell short but we know what we’re capable of.

“I feel like we’ve been better defensively and that’s been something we’ve tried to build from.

“Being able to switch from a three and a four has been good for us, as well.

“But I’d say League Two has been a more competitive division, this season.

“I feel like teams have learnt this league, even down to formations.

“When we played three at the back last season, it was a new thing to do but this season, teams are doing that and coming up against us and knowing how we play.

“I feel we’ve done well against teams but it’s just come down to scoring a goal here or not conceding at the other end and we’ve just fallen short.”