HARRY Pell admits some 'stern words' were spoken in the Colchester United changing room in the aftermath of their defeat at Cambridge United.

Pell has apologised to the U’s fans who travelled to the Abbey Stadium, after they lost 2-1 to surrender their long unbeaten league run.

The U’s midfielder admits their performance in their surprise defeat was ‘nowhere near good enough’, after they lost for the first time in 17 matches, in League Two.

Colchester were cheered on by more than 1,200 of their fans and former Cambridge loanee Pell was apologetic, after the disappointing defeat.

Pell said: “We probably need to send 1,000 apologies to the 1,000 or so fans who backed us and made their voice heard, because it was nowhere near good enough and I think we let them down.

“I don’t think we probably deserved it but we got the goal and we’ve been really good at seeing games out.

“I’m going to press the reset button and try my hardest to forget about it on Monday morning and write it off, because we’ve been on a really good run.

“But if we’re going to have aspirations of doing anything this season, that can’t happen.

“We had some stern words in there and I think that was most probably needed.

“It was nowhere near good enough and there was no leadership from the majority of us, me especially.

“We didn’t look like a team that’s trying to get promoted and we didn’t bring our game out whatsoever.

“We have to be honest with ourselves and we can’t let it happen.

“The unbeaten run has come to an end but there’s no time to feel sorry for ourselves.

“We’ve got to dust ourselves down and look forward to the next game."

Colchester’s defeat at Cambridge was their first league loss since they were beaten at home by Morecambe, last October.

The U’s have dropped to sixth in the table after the defeat, five points adrift of the automatic promotion places.

Colchester had led through Luke Norris’s header.

But two goals in the space of little more than a minute from substitutes Andrew Dallas and Harvey Knibbs won the game for the hosts.

“That wasn’t a great game for us,” added Pell.

“It was a weird game of football in that I don’t think we stamped our authority on the game.

“We didn’t bring our game out – I don’t think the pitch helped but that’s not an excuse, because they probably deserved to win.

“I’m going to watch that game back and take responsibility and see where we could have affected it differently.

“Cambridge are fighting for their lives and when you’re going away to places like that, you can’t expect to just turn up, dominate possession and get three points.

“You have to earn the right and I don’t think we really did that.”