COLCHESTER United’s disappointed players held an impromptu team meeting on the pitch in the aftermath of their defeat at Crawley Town.

The U’s side were prompted to stage the debrief by boss John McGreal after they surrendered a half-time lead to lose 2-1, at Broadfield Stadium.

Colchester skipper Luke Prosser said: “The gaffer (John McGreal) and Bally (Steve Ball) said their bit but it’s good for the lads to speak our minds as well.

“We just went outside and said what we thought and where we can be better - that’s good and healthy.

“We know where we went wrong and that was the frustrating thing.

“Our quality in the second half was nowhere near as good as it was in the first half and we paid the price for that.”

Prosser headed Colchester ahead in the first half at Crawley.

But second-half strikes from Reece Grego-Cox and Mason Bloomfield gave the Reds victory.

“It was an extremely frustrating second-half performance," said Prosser.

“They played much better than us in the second half but we knew that they would try to come out strongly being 1-0 down at half-time and being the home side.

“That was always going to be the case but we just didn’t deal with their threats.

“But on the flipside when we did deal with their threats, the quality of our clearances or balls forward never gave our midfielders or strikers the chance to get hold of the ball and it was therefore coming back on us.

“We never gave our strikers the chance to get into the game like we did in the first half.

“They had a few corners – we knew that would be their game plan as such.

“They were going to play with their set pieces in and around the box and get shots off early doors but that’s exactly what we didn’t deal with, in the second half.

“We didn’t stop enough crosses or get tight enough to the shot."

Prosser admits Colchester's players would have loved to have had the opportunity of bouncing back from the Crawley defeat with a midweek fixture, this week.

However, the U's must await until their home clash with Morecambe on Saturday for the chance to put things right.

Prosser added: “We’ve got a free week and you want a Tuesday night game if I’m honest to get back to winning ways straight away.

“But we’ll go again next weekend with a big home game against Morecambe.

“It was a disappointing day for us but we have to dust ourselves down.

“We’ve had a good couple of weeks in the league and we’ve been on a good run of form so it’s very, very disappointing not to kick on but there’s a lot of football still to be played this year.

“We’ve got a lot of games coming up soon and it’s about how we respond to this.

“We responded well after our last defeat (against Forest Green) and I’ve got no qualms about us doing exactly the same, after a good week’s training."