Colchester manager Joe Dunne admits his side are staring relegation in the face after a goalless home draw with Shrewsbury.
The U's will go into the final game of the season at Carlisle next Saturday three points above the relegation zone, following fourth-bottom Scunthorpe's win at MK Dons.
Dunne said: "We're staring relegation in the face. It's a big week where you can either be a League Two player and disappear or a League One player and push on.
"It shouldn't go down to the last day of the season. I'm furious. We were lacklustre and let fear get in the way of everything.
"There was a big crowd and we were booed at the end and rightly so. We gave the fans nothing to cheer about. We had two or three opportunities, but there was desperation about our play and the whole game.
"It's been in our hands for the last three games and we've picked up one point. Now it comes down to the last game at Carlisle, which isn't in our advantage. We have to give a better account because there are a lot of jobs on the line."
George Porter and Jabo Ibehre both went close for Colchester, while at the other end Steve McGinn and David McAllister registered efforts on goal in a drab first half.
Shrewsbury edged the second half, with U's goalkeeper Sam Walker denying both Jon Taylor and McAllister's long-range effort, but the spoils were shared in what was a lacklustre encounter at the Weston Homes Community Stadium.
Shrewsbury boss Graham Turner added: "To be totally safe is a relief, given all of the circumstances of the season.
"We were a bit too anxious at times and got ourselves offside rather naively on several occasions. But we generally defended well and broke and passed well and it might have been better for us."