COURTNEY Senior admits Colchester United allowed their standards to slip after a below-par first-half performance proved costly against Stevenage.

But the U’s winger insists they must move on quickly from their Trophy loss – and focus on putting things right against Salford City on Saturday.

Colchester exited the EFL Trophy at the second-round stage after losing 2-1 to Boro, at the JobServe Community Stadium.

They trailed 2-0 at half-time to Jason Cowley’s brace and although Chris Stokes’ own goal got them back into the game after the break, they were unable to avoid defeat.

Senior said: “We set ourselves high standards and we didn’t meet them in the first half.

"But hopefully we can get it right on Saturday.

“That first-half performance wasn’t like us this season and in the first ten to 15 minutes of games, I think we’ve started well.

“We tried to put it right but it just wasn’t our day.

“We just need to now focus on the league and we have a good game on Saturday to try and push on.

“We’re looking forward to the Salford game now and hopefully putting it right.”

Colchester had gone into the Stevenage game on the back of a ten-day fixture break but Senior insists that did not have an influence on their lethargic showing, in the opening 45 minutes.

“It was a bit of a rusty start but I don’t think that should be an excuse for the first-half performance,” added Senior, who was unlucky not to score against Stevenage when his effort was saved by keeper Paul Farman.

“But we came out in the second half and we tried to do our best.

“We had a chat between us at half-time where we said we set our standards and it just wasn’t good enough.

“It wasn’t a great start from the boys – they got two penalties and scored one and there were a few yellow cards.

“We just had to nip it in the bud and try and play our football, which I thought we did in the second half.

“We got the goal back and had a lot of momentum going forward, getting the ball into the wide areas and loads of crosses into the box.

“I had a chance where I thought their keeper did well and there was a penalty decision that I think should have gone our way but it just wasn’t our day.

“I think our end product could have been better and that includes mine but we just have to move on.

“We got a goal back and we were on at them for the whole of the second half.

“We just tried to put things right but it just wasn’t our day.

“This season, there’s been times when we’ve gone a goal down and bounced back and won the game.

“Even when we were 2-0 down, with the momentum we had in the second half I wasn’t scared that we wouldn’t win the game but it wasn’t our day.”