Colchester United’s key defender Ryan Inniss could be sidelined for a while

Carlisle keeper Jack Bonham gets a hand to this Sean Murray strike early in the second half of Satur

Carlisle keeper Jack Bonham gets a hand to this Sean Murray strike early in the second half of Saturday's 1-0 home defeat. Picture: STEVE WALLER - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Manager John McGreal admitted that his team lacked “zip” following Saturday’s disappointing 1-0 home defeat to Carlisle.

The U’s mini three-game unbeaten run, in League Two, was halted by the efficient Cumbrians, who became only the fourth team to win a league match at the Community Stadium in 2017.

“It was a tight game, so it always looked as though one goal was going to win it,” rued McGreal.

“We had a couple of good chances early on in the second half, to put the ball in the back of the net, but we didn’t manage to do it, and even late their keeper (Jack Bonham) made a great save.

“These are games where we have to learn if there is only one goal, then we have to make sure it’s ours, or else keep it tight for a 0-0.

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“It was a poor goal to give away, especially when we had started the second half really well. The goal knocked the stuffing out of us a little.

“The first half was a little bit nip-and-tuck. If we had scored it would have been a different game altogether.

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“But we didn’t have that zip today. We didn’t have that air about us, unlike the previous weekend (2-0 home win over Mansfield). It was a drab first half, but it just didn’t feel like us today. It was a disappointing performance, but we should at least be taking a point from this game.

“We’ve got to learn, and the sooner the better. We can’t keep dropping points,” added McGreal.

The U’s boss revealed that key defender Ryan Inniss, who missed Saturday’s game due to a hamstring injury, could be sidelined for a while.

“Missing Ryan was a major blow,” admitted McGreal.

“He went down with a tight hamstring in training on Thursday.

“It wasn’t precautionary. It’s similar with Kane (Vincent-Young), assessing day-by-day. We are missing two good players, so we have to adapt.

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“Hamstrings are usually a week or two, so we’ve got to be careful. We don’t want them to become five or six weeks,” added McGreal, whose U’s side face a tough away trip to Newport County tomorrow.

McGreal did not reveal the extent of Kurtis Guthrie’s new injury blow – the striker, sidelined with an ankle injury from late February, had only just attempted a comeback.

“It’s a setback, and it’s his previous injury,” said McGreal.

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