Ross Embleton said he was “angry and disappointed” at the manner in which Leyton Orient conceded their goals in the 2-1 loss to Colchester United on Saturday.

The O’s fell behind to strikes from Kwame Poku and Ryan Jackson, but did manage to restore some order when Conor Wilkinson capitalised on a Dean Gerken mistake before half-time.

As has been the case in many games this season, Orient’s defending for the goals left a lot to be desired, giving themselves a mountain to climb when, in terms of attacking performances, they were well in the game.

Speaking to the club website after the match, Embleton said: “[I’m] angry and disappointed at the fact that we keep giving ourselves so much to do in games of football. Coming off at the end again and being ‘oh we got so close’ and ‘nearly’ and ‘we could’ve taken our chances and got back in it’ – it’s not good enough. We’re not giving ourselves a chance, would probably be the best way for me to try to describe it.

“I felt that in the first half we were too acceptant to just drop back and get back behind the ball. We didn’t get enough pressure on Colchester, we didn’t try and force them into any sort of errors. We knew where we felt that we could really get after them and we didn’t do that enough to give ourselves a platform and a chance to contribute anything to the game.”

Poku’s opener for the U’s came after just four minutes, while Jackson’s long-range strike arrived before the half-hour mark, and the boss bemoaned the slow start that his side made.

He said: “We had a couple of little spells here and there and a couple of little moments that we looked good but that’s not enough and I felt that we started the game in the wrong frame of mind.

“I felt that we were negative and obviously the goal came pretty quickly, but we didn’t and we don’t give ourselves enough of an opportunity to play our way into the game.”

The O’s did manage to get themselves back into the game shortly before the break when Gerken inadvertently conceded possession to Louis Dennis in the area for Wilkinson to fire home, and Embleton felt as though if they had started in that aggressive manner then they would have claimed more from the game.

He said: “That was something that we said. We felt that if we were aggressive enough higher up the pitch that we could get some pressure on them at the back and get some pressure on their goalkeeper to force them into mistakes. That’s where the start to the game wasn’t good enough because we seemed to become too acceptant to drop Conor and Louis onto our midfield and that wasn’t the intention of the way we went out there today.

“I think if we were going to do that we would have potentially gone with the three recognised midfield players in there. I wanted Louis to be a more attack-minded player today and give him the opportunity to cause problems and get up and around Conor to press the opposition. I don’t think as a team and as a group we really imposed that on Colchester in the first half.”

The loss leaves Orient 21st in the League Two table, but a win at home this Saturday against Port Vale would put them to within a point of their 13th-placed opponents.