‘It was enjoyable to watch them play’ – Colchester United boss John McGreal

Mikael Mandron heads home Kyel Reid's free-kick to put the U's 2-1 up at Swindon in the Essex club's

Mikael Mandron heads home Kyel Reid's free-kick to put the U's 2-1 up at Swindon in the Essex club's last outing. Picture: PAGEPIX - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

Colchester United boss, John McGreal, was delighted with the way his team adapted to a new formation and a new system of play at Swindon Town on Friday night.

The U’s made it nine points from a possible 12 against four top teams in recent weeks, in the shape of Lincoln, Notts County, Exeter and Swindon.

Having operated with a three-man defence for the bulk of this season, with summer recruit Ryan Inniss impressing as a sweeper, the adaptable U’s switched to four-at-the-back at the County Ground, mainly due to Inniss’ absence with a sore shoulder.

The change in system had no effect on the U’s current good run, goals from Frankie Kent, Mikael Mandron and Sammie Szmodics doing the damage in a 3-2 victory.

“We knew big Ryan (Inniss) was going to be out, and would be a huge miss for us,” admitted McGreal.


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“But it was a case of how are we going to react?

“We know what Kyel (Reid) is about. He brings a lot of experience, and we flipped the system a little to go 4-3-3. The boys took to it like ducks to water.

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“We kept possession, kept recycling it,” added McGreal.

The inclusion of Reid, for Inniss, was the only change to the U’s personnel, and left-winger Reid obliged by providing the assists for the first two goals, via good deliveries from set pieces.

McGreal continued: “I thought even before Swindon scored that we were the team in the ascendancy. We had a lot of final third entries without being clinical with our possession.

“Their first goal came out of nothing, and I didn’t even think it was a free-kick, to be honest.

“But the boys bounced back and got a great goal before half-time.

“That goal definitely gave us a shot in the arm because I felt we came out and completely bossed the play.

“We conceded a couple of goals from set pieces, which was disappointing, because I didn’t see them scoring from open play, to be fair.

“But when they scored, we seemed to bounce back, showing composure and maturity. While we were looking for the win, it was still enjoyable to watch the lads play, because there were some outstanding performances out there.”

After the weekend results, the U’s are in eighth spot.

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