McGreal admits U’s start has been ‘above our expectations’

Courtney Senior celebrates his goal, against Cambridge, with Sammie Szmodics, who netted the first h

Courtney Senior celebrates his goal, against Cambridge, with Sammie Szmodics, who netted the first himself in a 3-0 win. Picture: STEVE WALLER WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COM - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

John McGreal has admitted that his Colchester United team has already exceeded expectations, with their superb start to the season.

The U’s are riding high in fourth spot in League Two, after amassing 15 points from their first eight games – that’s the Essex club’s best start to a campaign for 14 years, since Phil Parkinson’s men also earned 15 points from their first eight games of 2004-05.

McGreal’s men have only suffered one league loss so far, at home to Northampton Town, and they will be looking to continue their good run at Oldham Athletic this weekend, even though the Latics are also going well in sixth spot, just a point behind the U’s.

“I’d say that 15 points from eight games is probably above our expectations,” explained McGreal.

“But we have worked ever so hard to get into this position, and we now have another long journey to come, away at Oldham.

“We always look a threat going forward, as we again showed against Cambridge (3-0 home win last Saturday), as well as the bonus of keeping a clean-sheet.

“We put our bodies on the line, when Cambridge had a good spell, whereas last season we weren’t managing to weather that storm – balls were going into the net off backsides, but we are now having that rub of the green.

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“We still have a long winter to go through, but we have young boys to back the team up,” added McGreal.

The U’s are the highest scorers in the division, with 17 goals to their name from those eight league games.

Frank Nouble bagged his first goal in a Colchester shirt on Saturday, while substitute Courtney Senior netted the third with a slick finish, which impressed but did not surprise McGreal.

“It was terrific composure from Courtney. He’s been through a little bit of an indifferent spell of late, but we thoroughly believe in him.

“He is one of the biggest prospects, at aged just 21, in this division. He is going to go to through little peaks and troughs, and it’s up to me and (assistant) Steve (Ball) to keep his confidence going.

“When he went through I didn’t think he was going to miss, I thought he was going to score. You see that in training every day, the composure he shows.”

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