Clarke: Cross words were exchanged

NATHAN Clarke admits that angry were exchanged between the Colchester United players in the dressing room following their shambolic defensive display at Yeovil on Saturday.

The 27-year-old centre-back has been one of the U’s stand-out performers since arriving on loan from Huddersfield in January but has now conceded eight goals in his last two games.

“We’ve all had cross words with each other and we’re all old enough and big enough to take it,” said Clarke.

“It works both ways. Your team-mates praise you when you’re doing well, so when you get told you’re not doing it you need to take those words on board.

“They’re not personal attacks, it’s just because we all want to win.

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“Whether there be 20 games or two games left this still hurts the same.”

The defender, who will return to his native Yorkshire with another year left on his Terriers contract following Saturday’s season finale for the U’s at home against Bristol Rovers, continued: “This is not a game we’ll want to remember, but it is one we’ll have to look back at so we can eradicate what went wrong. We’ll look at the tapes and analyse the goals.

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“Going forward I thought we looked good, but defensively we just weren’t at the races.

“We’re all used to the positions so there are no excuses.

“We pride ourselves on defending the goal, we’re a strong side, but we’ve let ourselves down today.

“The chairman (Robbie Cowling) is good enough to let us come up the day before to get the journey out of our system and get mentally right and we’ve let him down too.

“We wanted to finish the season strongly and we’re really disappointed with ourselves.”

He added: “As a player you know yourself when you’re not quite at it.

“It’s frustrating when that happens because you’re letting a group of lads down that will back you and back you.

“On a personal level I just want to forget about this one. I’ve just got to try and remember the games I have played well in and try to get back to that level.”

Asked about the post-match dressing room atmosphere U’s boss John Ward said: “They’re honest, professional people and they’re not mutes.

“Some talk more than others, things get said and that’s fine. We don’t need to delve into who said what.

“I’m not going to name names, I’ve done that in the dressing room. It’s a team thing and I’m involved in that team as well.”

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