Colchester manager Aidy Boothroyd all but conceded his team`s chances of making the play-offs are over after a 3-1 defeat at Hartlepool.
The Us, who are now six points behind Huddersfield with three games remaining, opened the scoring through Ian Henderson`s eighth-minute strike. But Pools hit back through James Brown and a brace from Roy O`Donovan as they took a step closer to safety.
Boothroyd said: "It looks extremely difficult for us to make the play-offs now. But while it is mathematically possible we will still go for it."
He added: "I thought after scoring the first goal it would have given us the momentum to go on and win but we didn`t defend well for the two goals and didn`t recover from there."
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