Banter with Burns with Colchester United Supporters Association chairman Jon Burns

THESE are tough times at the football club we know and love.

Nowhere near the start to the season that anyone of us wanted and it all feels a little bit tense and fractious at the moment.

It is going to need some courage and resolve to improve things on the pitch.

The inability to hold a lead, especially after the half-time oranges, let alone increase one sufficiently enough to be comfortable in the game, is definitely praying on the minds of the players and management.

It's also the source of much frustration within the fans, which is doubled when fans feel that their midweek efforts to support the team at Grimsby is only appreciated at the final whistle by only a handful of the team.

Thanking the fans is the expected norm, I think.

That said though I am not sure what would be going through my mind as a player or manager after missing out on three points late on.

Anger, depression or just too frightened to engage with supporters not knowing what might come back their way.

All thoughts of our Carabao Cup tie at Crystal Palace next Tuesday must be shelved tomorrow.

Northampton Town will make things very tough for us in our fragile state and the U’s will need to fix their problems to secure the much-needed victory and relieve the building pressure.

Luke Norris is finding the net and Frank Nouble has now opened his account but the U’s need others to join in.

A few times last against Cambridge we got into strong positions in the box or on the break and rather than play the easy pass to a better placed team-mate, it was a head down dribble or a tougher shot option. Think we can do better than that.

It’s also clear that the adjustment to losing key players and voices during the summer and recently with Kane Vincent-Young, is still a work in progress.

What we wouldn’t give for a fit Pell and Lapslie tomorrow or how about a starting Luke Gambin?

We have yet to even see Cowan-Hall or Diaz Wright on our young-looking bench. Fingers crossed for a boost to the U’s matchday squad.

And finally, our shining light amongst all of the gloom, has been Ryan Clampin.

Considering his lack of experience, he did very well last Saturday and I have no idea how he played 90 minutes at Grimsby on Tuesday considering the way he limped off. That’s character for me and hopefully the start of great things for Ryan and the U’s.

Thanks for your support as always and best of luck to the U’s tomorrow.

Jon Burns, Colchester United Supporters Association chairman