SKIPPER Harry Pell admits Colchester United are in a ‘horrible’ place as they battle to beat the drop – but insists they are doing everything they can to stay in League Two.

The U’s lie four points above the relegation zone with five games remaining, with crucial back-to-back home games against Walsall and Southend United on the horizon.

Struggling Colchester have managed only one of their last 25 matches and Pell is fully aware of the predicament they find themselves.

But the U’s captain has stressed that they are doing everything they can to get the vital points they need to stay in the Football League – and that actions will speak louder than any words.

Pell said: “They are massive, massive games coming up – everyone knows it and we don’t need to cover it up.

“We need to get points, it’s as simple as that.

“Actions speak louder than words and we’re in a really tough situation.

“We’re not picking up points and there’s no hiding away from that.

“It’s a really frustrating time and it’s a horrible place to be but I keep repeating myself in saying that the main thing is to keep this team in the Football League.

“What I will say is that it’s not for the lack of trying.

“We’re doing everything that we can and the staff are doing everything that they can.

“We are where we are for a reason – we’ve not been good enough and we have five more games now where we need to roll our sleeves up and keep this team in the Football League.”

Colchester lost 5-2 at Oldham Athletic to suffer their first defeat under interim head coach, Hayden Mullins.

It followed successive draws against Barrow and Bolton Wanderers and midfielder Pell admits they needed to back up those performances, at Boundary Park.

“You want to back those sort of games up with a win at Oldham and it’s so frustrating to say ‘right, onto the next game’ and then the next game is upon us,” said Pell, who struck the woodwork against the Latics.

“These games are coming thick and fast – yes, it is in our own hands but we need to be in some sort of control with these games.

“I thought we were a real team against Bolton and did really well.

“We rolled our sleeves up, we showed resilience and we showed a real team ethic.

“We didn’t play great against Barrow but I didn’t think they did either and it was probably two teams who were lacking a bit of confidence.

“We should be winning that game and seeing that game out and we didn’t.

“Every game brings different challenges and it’s not as easy as going out there (against Oldham), setting up a team and playing a certain way.

“The first-half performance wasn’t good enough.

“They were knocking the ball around nicely and getting out; they were switching the ball far too easily in the first half.

"We’ve regrouped in the second half and come up with a different game plan.

“We got ourselves back in the game but we’ve let in some kamikaze goals at the end and we’ve let ourselves down.”