Colchester United midfielder Tom Lapslie hopes to mark his 50th league game with return to winning ways

Tom Lapslie on the ball during the U's 4-0 home defeat to Portsmouth on Saturday> Picture: STEVE WAL

Tom Lapslie on the ball during the U's 4-0 home defeat to Portsmouth on Saturday> Picture: STEVE WALLER - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Tom Lapslie is confident that Colchester United can bounce back from the disappointment of Saturday’s crushing 4-0 home defeat to Portsmouth, by outwitting play-off rivals Mansfield Town in another home encounter this evening.

Midfielder Lapslie was powerless to prevent Pompey from storming to three points last weekend, but the 21-year-old believes that this was only a blip in the U’s quest for a top-seven finish.

“We will pick ourselves up for the Mansfield game,” insisted Lapslie.

“It was only three points lost against Portsmouth, and I’m happy that we have got another game so quickly.

“I didn’t want to have to wait another week before we played another game, and I don’t think it can get any worse than the Portsmouth game. We shouldn’t be getting beaten 4-0.

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“We need to pick up our performance. We’ll keep our heads up and we will bounce back,” added Lapslie.

Academy product Lapslie is set to celebrate his 50th career league appearance this evening, having only missed eight games this season through injury – many of his team-mates have not been so fortunate.

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But he refuses to use the U’s current injury crisis as a factor in Saturday’s heavy defeat.

“I’m not going to use all the injuries as an excuse,” said Lapslie.

“I still think we have a strong enough XI to beat any team. We are a lot better than what we showed against Portsmouth, and any XI from Colchester United shouldn’t be getting beaten like that, by anyone.

“So injuries are not an excuse for me, we just didn’t play well enough.

“Ports (Chris Porter) was up top on his own against two centre-halves, so we didn’t really have an outlet and we couldn’t get out.

“We were camped in, and relieved to get to half-time at only 1-0 down, but we didn’t get a chance to put a plan into place in the second half, before they scored their second goal.

“We were then chasing the game, and left ourselves open after going 3-0 down. The boys showed willing to try and get a goal, to get back into the game, and it became a bit hectic. It was a bitter pill for us to swallow, but we must move on,” added Lapslie.

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