CALLUM Harriott admits the character of Colchester United’s players will now be put to the test after their dismal defeat to Morecambe.

Harriott’s surprise inclusion in the U’s starting line-up after injury was ruined after they slumped to a 1-0 home loss to the struggling Shrimps.

The 25-year-old winger played for nearly an hour against Morecambe, his first appearance for Colchester since joining them last month on a two-year contract.

But it was a disappointing day for the U’s and Harriott says they have to be better.

He said: “We didn’t perform and it’s not good enough.

“It’s obviously on us and there’s a lot more that we could have brought to the game.

“I think we all know that we need to do better and we’re all very disappointed.

“It’s perfect that there’s a game coming up so quickly.

“It tests everyone’s character and this is the perfect moment for us to bounce back.

“We have to fix it because we have to go again on Tuesday.

“We knew that Morecambe were bottom of the table and what they were coming here to do and how they’d fight.

“The first half wasn’t good enough; there were little glimpses in the second half but it’s still not enough.

“There’s a lot of negatives that happened in the game but the main thing is to not keep it inside us and to try and get it out on Tuesday.”

Harriott returned to Colchester on a permanent basis at the beginning of last month.

But his first competitive appearance for them was delayed by a troublesome quad injury.

Harriott played 45 minutes in the U’s Essex Senior Cup defeat at Heybridge Swifts last week, prompting boss John McGreal to hand the winger a first domestic start in nearly six months.

“It was very frustrating but I worked hard every day to come back and before this (the Morecambe game), the team had been doing very well and picking up points,” said the former Charlton Athletic winger.

“It was my first game back and there was probably a doubt that I’d play the full game but I was really happy to start.

“I obviously didn’t know if I was going to start, to be fair.

“I’ve worked hard in training and I was buzzing to be in the starting line-up.

“I’m disappointed not to score and win the game as I think these are the games that we should be nailing.

“It puts a test on all of us to go out and do it on Tuesday (at Crewe).

“We can go and beat the top of the league side and it can turn around and everything changes again.”

Harriott will be aiming to recapture some of the exciting form he showed for Colchester during his loan spell with the club in the 2015-16 season.

He made 23 appearances and scored seven goals during that spell with the U’s, under Tony Humes.

Harriott added: “I’ve always liked Colchester – I’ve always had a good vibe about it.

“There’s a good buzz around the club so it was good to walk out.

“There are still some players here who were here when I was here years ago.

“All of the boys are welcoming and some I know already, so it’s all good.

“It’s really good to know that the supporters still have that sort of love for me.

“I appreciate it and the main thing is that I’m here to show it again.”