Bean Remaining Positive
The U's energetic midfielder, Marcus Bean, has reflected on the side's recent run of results by looking to take the positives out of the current run of defeats.
Despite accepting that it is a tough practice to do, the dogged performer used the response against high-flying Brentford on Boxing Day as an example of the spirit that remains at the Weston Homes Community Stadium.
Having fallen a goal down within five minutes, centre-half Josh Thompson was dismissed five minutes later and, from the resulting set-piece, Adam Forshaw hit home to double the Bees' advantage.
Instead of throwing in the towel, Joe Dunne's men fought back and Marcus remains positive about this display of the U's character.
'There is a lot that we can take from games but, at the end of the day, they're still defeats and trying to draw positives from defeats isn't ideal,' he reflected.
'The boys have to hold their hands up and say that the defending hasn't been great either as a back four or as a team, but against Brentford, for example, the boys did really well to respond as we did against a side up at the top of the league, and that showed a lot of character to then perform how we did.'
With last weekend's home game with Swindon postponed, the Essex outfit were made to wait until New Year's Day to get back out onto the pitch, but a 3-0 defeat at Richie Barker's Crawley saw a seventh successive league defeat.
In such situations the players are eager to get back out onto the pitch to try and correct the form, Marcus explained: 'To be honest, the next games just can't come quick enough. It's the worst run I've been on as a player and I think it is for a lot of the boys, so you just want to put it right.
'It's not only draining on you from a football-perspective but also on your home life; people keep asking you about the results and you just want to hang up the phone and avoid talking to them and so on, so we want to put it right for our mental well-being as well as for the football club.
'It's just about confidence. Brentford are a side that have that confidence and can use it to go on their run, whereas we just need that one win.'
A ray of sunshine for the U's amidst this run of form has been the emergence of the youth players, with 17-year-old Drey Wright being handed a run of games on the left wing. Fellow 17-year-old, Alex Gilbey, also made his full debut in the Boxing Day defeat, whilst Freddie Ladapo came on as a second-half substitute for his debut appearance.
'Drey Wright has an abundance of pace, he's very direct and he's also got a good footballing brain; he knows when to come in off the line and mix his game up and he has a very bright future.
'I was happy to see [Freddie] Ladapo come on against Brentford as he gave us something a bit different. We've lacked that natural width and pace since Sanchez [Watt] was around really.'
Unfortunately for Gilbey, his full debut was cut short after thirteen minutes following the dismissal of Thompson, but Marcus insists he will be all the better for it.
'Alex Gilbey is another and he made a bright start to the Brentford game. Being taken off will only make him a stronger person and he knows it was just a tactical switch, but he's another that Colchester can be proud of and we all hold high hopes for him, too.'
All U's supporters will remain hopeful that these emerging talents can fulfil their potential and help mould a local team to be proud of in the forthcoming seasons.
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