‘We haven’t been good enough’ – Colchester United boss John McGreal

U's boss John McGreal, with his assistant Steve Ball in the background, are in a reflective mood dur

U's boss John McGreal, with his assistant Steve Ball in the background, are in a reflective mood during Saturday's 3-1 home defeat to Notts County. Picture: STEVE WALLER - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Colchester United boss, John McGreal, admits that his team has not scored enough goals to mount a big promotion push this season.

The U’s have found themselves short of firepower this term, a problem that has held them back from sustaining a top-seven push, despite boasting the sixth best defensive record in League Two.

The likes of Chris Porter, Brennan Dickenson and Kurtis Guthrie all scored goals on a regular basis in 2016-17, when the U’s finished just one point and one place outside the play-offs with 67 goals scored in 46 matches.

Twelve months on and the U’s have managed just 52 goals from 43 outings. To make matters worse, leading scorer Sammie Szmodics (13 goals) has not scored in his last 13 appearances, and netted just one in his last 16 outings, while target man Mikael Mandron, the only other U’s player to reach double figures, has taken 41 games (46 in all competitions) to score 10 goals.

“In a nutshell, we just haven’t taken our chances this season, explained McGreal.

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“We had 14 to 16 shots against Notts County (3-1 home defeat on Saturday). We have been hitting these targets and numbers every week, playing with plenty of width and pace, but we’ve only got two players with double figures this year. That proves we haven’t been good enough in this area.

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“We need that experience at the right end of the pitch, and we haven’t won enough games when we have been on top this season.

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“We should have been two or three up (against Notts County). Tom (Eastman) has hit the post and Jacko (Ryan Jackson) has put in some good crosses – we are asking for people to get on the end of these crosses.

“Notts County had the ball in the box three times and scored – they had a 100% success record – while we have regularly got in their box but not got the rewards for the performance.

“Our style of play can work against an experienced team like Notts County. They’ve been in the top four all season, but our style can work because we tore them apart at times.

“I felt we were comfortable (at 1-0 up). We started the second half really well, but you do need your strikers to get on the end of crosses. But that’s where we have been this season. We’ve been a little bit shy in that area.”

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