'All our business has been done' – U's boss McGreal
PUBLISHED: 16:03 03 August 2018
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Colchester United boss, John McGreal, could not have hoped for a better pre-season, in terms of the friendlies played and the new signings captured in the transfer market.
But now the big test starts – a League Two opener away at Notts County, who have been installed by most bookmakers as favourites for promotion, and the title.
The opening day of last season yielded a disappointing 3-1 defeat away at Accrington Stanley, who went on to finish as league champions. The U’s finished in a distant 13th spot, a sizeable 13 points adrift of the play-offs.
Certainly, the U’s do not want a repeat of that opening day experience, or the season as whole.
To that end, the likes of midfielder Harry Pell plus front-runners Frank Nouble, Aaron Collins and Luke Norris have been added to the squad during the summer, and all four could make their U’s competitive debuts at Meadow Lane tomorrow.
“We did well to get the players that we wanted this summer, and that’s it. All our business has been done, I think,” explained McGreal.
“Notts County have invested well and, like with all clubs in League Two, there has been a huge turnaround in players.
“Playing against Notts County should be a good yardstick for ourselves, playing in front of a big crowd on the first day of the season.
“They had a lot of success last year, despite just missing out on promotion, and they will be wanting to build on that.
“They are looking to get out of this league – they have made that known – but then so do we.
“I have a fully fit squad, everyone is fit, and the new faces should give us that little bit extra experience.
“It’s certainly pleasing to be injury-free, because we had a ton of injuries last season, but we know we can lose players in a heartbeat.
“But we feel that we have invested wisely,” added McGreal.
Club captain and central defender Luke Prosser signed a new two-year deal, earlier in the summer, which was a huge plus for the U’s.
And a fully-fit Brennan Dickenson will be another big bonus after all his injury woes of the last year.