LUKE Prosser has revealed his friendship with close pal Tom Eastman has enhanced Colchester United’s defensive harmony this season.

The U’s currently have the third-best defence in League Two, having shipped just ten goals in their first dozen league games.

Prosser and Eastman have started every league game together so far at the heart of Colchester’s defence, contributing to their seven clean sheets to date in all competitions.

It is the fourth season that the pair have been together at the U’s and skipper Prosser says being good mates has aided their central defensive alliance.

Prosser said: “Me and Easty play well together – we’ve known each other for four years now and I think that’s told on the pitch when you see how well we’ve defended at times.

“I think Easty’s has been very, very good form and the back four in general.

“I’ve had similar partnerships in the past with Frankie (Kent) and me and Tommo (Adam Thompson) at Southend.

“We’re really close mates, so that helps - I’m close with Easty as I am with Frank but we have an understanding.

“Having played with him for four years, you know when to cover him and when not - he covers me a lot more than I cover him, that’s for sure!

“But we bounce off each other well and we have to be on our toes because Omar (Sowunmi) has come in and did well and there’s also young Ollie Kensdale too, so there’s competition for places.

“We know we have to play well to keep the shirt.

“Me and Easty have been doing alright so unfortunately for Omar, he hasn’t had much game time yet.

“He can just come in to either a back three or a back four and it shows our strength in depth.

“We had it last year with myself, Frankie (Kent) and Easty and we have Ollie Kensdale too so we’re strong at the back and competition for places is good.”

Prosser also feels Dean Gerken has been a key factor in Colchester’s solid defensive form.

The 34-year-old goalkeeper returned to the U’s on a free transfer from Ipswich Town in the summer, after a decade away.

“He’s a Championship goalkeeper, without doubt,” added Prosser.

“We’re very, very lucky to have Gerks, as it’s shown this season.

“He keeps you in games and does big saves at big times but it’s also the way he talks and leads from the back behind me and on the training ground, too.

“He’s been massive and a very, very good addition for us this year."