ROBBIE Cowling says he is 'absolutely aware' of the seriousness of Colchester United's current plight, both on and off the pitch.

But the U's chairman insists that he is 'very confident' that they will be able to secure the results needed to move back up the table - as long as performances continue to improve.

Colchester head into tomorrow night's home clash with Exeter City having gone 12 matches without a victory, following the 1-0 defeat at Crawley Town at the weekend.

The result left Steve Ball's side in 20th spot and ten points above the relegation zone with 18 games to go, prompting some fans to call for change.

Cowling admits that it is vital that they 'get their act together' between now and the end of the campaign.

And the U's supremo says he is doing everything to ensure that they come through what has been a testing season unscathed.

Writing on the U's website, Cowling said: "My previous updates have only touched on football matters because up until now, I think everyone would agree that the pandemic crisis and what was happening off the pitch was far more significant than what was happening on the pitch.

"However, following a terrible run of results, we are slipping down the league and naturally everyone is nervous about us getting dragged into the relegation battle.

"We do of course have a reasonable cushion at this moment but a few of the teams below us will get their act together over the remainder of the season and it’s important that we do that too.

"To make it clear, I am absolutely aware of how serious all of the situations we are currently facing are.

"I knew this would be a challenging season because of the steps I took to reduce the playing budget.

"I continued to brace myself for a tough season even when it started well with us being around the top of the league.

"We could tell from the statistics of those early games that we were getting more points out of the games than we had deserved and we knew the results would not continue unless we improved our performances.

"We can now see that the performances have improved but clearly the results have not and we are currently getting less from games than we deserve.

"However, we are very confident that as long as we keep improving our performances, then the results will follow.

"Personally, it’s a dream to own the football club and I can assure you all that these challenges are massively more painful for me than for anyone else.

"I have invested every day of the last sixteen years in the club and millions of pounds in the facilities and the academy.

"All of that time and money will be wasted if we were to lose this fight against the financial challenges of the pandemic, or to be relegated and to not then bounce back again.

"Please rest assured that I’m doing everything I can to make sure that we do get through this season, both on and off the pitch."

Colchester are still having to play their games behind closed doors, due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

The lack of matchday revenue and commercial events at the JobServe Community Stadium has presented tough challenges and Cowling admits EFL clubs are likely to need more financial challenges, to help them through the remainder of the campaign.

He said: "Thankfully, the EFL haven’t lost a single club so far and I think the EFL Board have to be congratulated on the way they have achieved that so far.

"Colchester United, like most other clubs, did not imagine we would still be playing games behind closed doors for this long so we will almost all need some more help to get through the rest of the season.

"Colchester United are investigating the monitored loans and I will keep you updated if that is a course we need to take."