Frankie Kent admits he must perform at a high level in every single match if he wants to keep his place in Colchester United’s starting line-up.

No outfield player has made more starts for the U’s in League Two this season than Kent, with the former U’s youth-team player a regular in John McGreal’s side.

Kent, who has clocked up 33 league starts for Colchester so far in the current campaign, has already made more appearances this season than in any other during his professional career.

However, the 22-year-old knows that he must keep his standards high if he is to remain a regular starter for the U’s, between now and the end of the season.

Kent said: “I feel like I’ve been doing OK.

“I’m just trying to stay fit because of the competition now with the three centre-halves, with Easty (Tom Eastman) and Pross (Luke Prosser) and also Ryan (Inniss) and Cole (Kpekawa) looking to come in.

“There’s a lot of competition, so I just know that I have to be on it every week.

“We’ve got a really good squad now with good depth and everyone knows you have to fight to keep your place in the team.

"It’s not going to be just given to us.”

Meanwhile, Kent says he has enjoyed linking up with experienced centre-back Luke Prosser, at the heart of the Colchester defence.

Kent, who has made 93 league and cup appearances for the U’s had not played alongside the former Southend United defender in the league, prior to the current campaign.

But since the turn of the calendar year, the pair started together on four successive occasions prior to Prosser dropping to the bench against Barnet, last weekend.

“It’s been one of the first times that I’ve played with Pross since he joined,” added Kent, who made his senior Colchester debut in their 1-0 victory at Walsall on the final day of the 2013-14 season.

“We were both injured at different points.

“It’s been good playing alongside him and I’ve enjoyed it.

“He’s very vocal and he always keeps you on your toes straight away.

“I feel like I’ve got a good relationship with him on and off the pitch so hopefully we can keep it going.”