Banter with Burns with Colchester United Supporters Association chairman Jon Burns

COLCHESTER United fans have had the fun, short away trips over the festive period.

Now the pain starts again with the long hauls and Morecambe being the first tomorrow.

Managing your alarm clock is one thing with a 7am departure but in addition we’ll be keeping one eye on the roads with a potential M6 closure and one eye on the weather and pitch, with lots of rain and wind forecast. Fingers crossed on both counts.

Crossed digits will also be in use as the fans hope beyond hope that the U’s will be back in the groove after the last two missed opportunities. The possible four points not taken against Crawley and Stevenage would have placed us fourth at the very least today and against the newest bottom-placed team tomorrow, we cannot absorb any more slip-ups.

For as many years as I can remember, the U’s seem to struggle against the battlers below them, finding it much “easier” playing their peers near the top. One day someone will explain that mystery to us.

To be brutally honest, Stevenage deserved their point with ten men last Saturday.

Their work rate was tremendous, their mistakes were minimal and they also had an inspired keeper.

To keep on the honesty theme, the U’s work rate and mistakes were at the other end of the scale.

Explaining why that was the case is for John McGreal to establish and resolve.

There have been plenty of suggestions from the fans on social media this week but for me we lost the three points in the first half when poor finishing and concentration cost us.

The U’s should have taken the advantage then, as Stevenage were re-grouping before their belief grew but instead it felt like we were watching a training game from one or two of our players.

We have a big squad of players for John to keep happy and switched on but if he feels that the dial needs to be turned up competition wise, then I would not be surprised to see the U’s boost its collection of centre-forwards this transfer window.

They can do better and they will do better.

There are still 20-plus games left so plenty of time and I am challenging our guys to now get back to back wins tomorrow and against another struggler, Macclesfield next Saturday to put those last two games behind us.

Thanks for your support as always. The numbers at Stevenage were brilliant.

Good luck to the U’s tomorrow and a safe journey to everyone heading north to support them.