Colchester United manager Joe Dunne has urged his players to stay positive following their worst start to a league season for nearly 40 years.

The U's 3-1 defeat against new league leaders Peterborough United was their fourth in a row and they have taken just one point from their opening five matches in League One.

It is Colchester's worst start to a league season since they began the 1975-76 campaign with four defeats and a draw, in the old division three.

But while he says he understands the disappointment of U's fans, boss Dunne insists he and his players will not be dwelling on any outside negativity.

Dunne said: "We have to keep going and we can't dwell on any negativity.

"I know the fans are going to be disappointed, because it's another defeat.

"One thing I know about our club and our fans having been here 18 years is that I've lost games as a Colchester player in similar circumstances and they do appreciate the effort and commitment.

"Once they see that, it has to be a given straight away and I thought we showed that but unfortunately, we came up short.

"What we have to keep doing is believing in what we're doing.

"We've made chances again and made the keeper work and a top team panic at times and defend resiliently, which they did."

Dunne was disappointed with the goals Colchester conceded but was pleased with the response of his players to the setbacks they suffered.

He said: “We’ve done OK in a lot of moments in the game but I think we can do better with the goals that we conceded and that’s the difference between top and bottom.

“That’s something that we need to work on but it was a great response by the players.

“We didn’t deserve to be 2-0 down and the third goal came against the run of play – everybody had a go and it was a close game early on.

“We’ve worked the goalkeeper and hit the crossbar but Peterborough showed why they’re top of the league.”

For much more reaction and five pages of coverage of the U's game with Peterborough, see Monday's Daily Gazette.