‘It’s about how we react’ – Colchester United boss John McGreal

Sammie Szmodics celebrates his goal at Wycombe Wanderers. Picture Pagepix

Sammie Szmodics celebrates his goal at Wycombe Wanderers. Picture Pagepix - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

Colchester United have a golden opportunity to get back on promotion track, when they entertain struggling Grimsby Town on Saturday.

The U’s have lost their last two league fixtures, the first time they have suffered this fate since mid-September, following the recent 4-1 home reverse to Cheltenham Town and then last Saturday’s 3-1 defeat at Wycombe Wanderers.

However, John McGreal’s men remain in the play-off race, just two places and three points adrift of the top seven, and they can look forward to home advantage against an out-of-sorts Grimsby side this weekend.

Grimsby were in the play-off frame themselves only a month or so ago, but since beating bottom club Forest Green Rovers 1-0 at the start of December, they have endured a terrible run of results.

The Mariners have dropped to 17th in the League Two table, and are now seven points adrift of the U’s, whereas they were actually level on points with the Essex club following their last success over Forest Green from six weeks ago.

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Russell Slade’s side have also lost their last four on the bounce, on the road at Crewe (2-0) and at home to Accrington Stanley (0-3), Morecambe (0-2) and Newport County (1-2).

“We have a nice home game this weekend, and it’s all about how we react to the last two defeats,” insisted McGreal.

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“When things go against you, they have been at the minute, then you have to work even harder to prevent that happening, especially when we are in the attacking third.

“I lost count of the number of times we got into the attacking third at Wycombe. Have we done enough really? That’s the question, because we had so many clear-cut opportunities.

“A few decisions are not going for us at the moment, like when Mikael (Mandron) got brought down when clean through (no red card, or even a foul, was given). We had shots blocked as well.

“But it’s also been too easy at the minute for goals to be going in against us, which hasn’t been the case for much of this season.

“At these key moments we tended to put them away earlier in the season, even at Crawley (2-0 win) on Boxing Day,” added McGreal.

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