“People are bigging us up, but we are not there yet” – Colchester United boss Tony Humes
Saturday’s sad capitulation at Shrewsbury is a massive “wake-up call” for under-achieving Colchester United.
The U’s, from a position of strength at half-time, 2-0 up and in complete control, were left stunned by a remarkable second-half comeback which saw the Shrews coast to a 4-2 win.
It was a dramatic turnaround, leaving U’s boss Tony Humes admitting that some of his players might be believing the hype that has surrounded them following a recent run of four straight wins.
“It’s a real wake-up call for us,” confessed Humes, following Saturday’s shocker in Shropshire.
“We know that we are better than that, and that’s the problem.
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“The biggest thing is that you work hard enough, to make sure that sort of thing doesn’t happen, and it just happened too easily today.
“Maybe there are some players who believe in those bits-and-pieces that have been in the Press?
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“We keep saying that we are not there. People are bigging us up, but as today showed, we are not there yet.
“I think one or two of my players thought they had won the game at half-time.
“It showed in the second half, once Shrewsbury got themselves back into the game, that we couldn’t pick it up again.
“You just can’t turn it on and off like a tap, it’s the same with your form, you can’t just turn it off and expect to get it going.
“It’s just extremely disappointing”.
The U’s were 2-0 up at the interval, after scoring two goals in a three-minute spell via an own-goal from Shrews’ centre-half Mark Ellis in the 36th minute, and then a deft back-heel by defender Tom Eastman on 39 minutes.
But a double substitution at half-time, with attackers Tyrone Barnett and Sullay Kaikai appearing at the start of the second half, completely changed the game.
Both players scored twice, ex-Ipswich Town loan striker, Barnett pulling a goal back within 30 seconds of the restart, and then sweeping home an equaliser before the hour mark.
Fellow substitute Kaikai then took up the mantle, netting a brace in the 73rd and 81st minutes to complete a stunning comeback from the Shrews.
It was all the more remarkable when considered that Micky Mellon’s side had lost their three previous games, and had lost four of their first five home matches of the season.
After a six-game unbeaten run, the U’s have now lost two on the bounce and face a tough trip to Wigan Athletic next Saturday.
See today’s ‘East Anglian Daily Times’ newspaper for a full match report, pictures and more reaction from the U’s defeat at Shrewsbury