‘We need to take a look at ourselves’ – McGreal ahead of Notts County visit

The last home game: Morecambe keeper Mark Halstead saved a Kane Vincent-Young strike in the 0-0 draw

The last home game: Morecambe keeper Mark Halstead saved a Kane Vincent-Young strike in the 0-0 draw. The U's will be hoping for goals and three points today. Picture: STEVE WALLER WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COM - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Colchester United boss, John McGreal, is looking for more guile and more energy from his team, when they take on relegation-threatened Notts County this afternoon.

The U’s have failed to win in a three-game sequence, for the first time this season, following a very flat Christmas period, but they will hope to cash in against an injury-ravaged Magpies side, to return to the top seven.

The New Year’s Day defeat at Crawley Town was a huge blow for the U’s, not just the result (2-0 loss) but the manner of it against a Red Devils outfit who played the final hour with just 10 men, and had taken just one point from their previous five outings.

Following on from the below-par home displays against Stevenage (2-1 defeat on Boxing Day) and Morecambe (0-0 last weekend), it meant that just one point had been acquired from the U’s last three fixtures.

This represents the poorest haul of points since the back-end of last season, when the U’s lost four and drew the other of their last five games, including a 3-1 home loss at the hands of today’s visitors Notts County.

McGreal wants more flair and urgency today, especially from his attackers.

“That’s the money-end of the pitch, where we get into it. We are looking for the experienced players who we have got in the team to show a little bit of guile, to show experience on the pitch, and give us that little bit of coaxing and organistion,” explained McGreal.

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“I also want a little bit more of the running, to get into that final third. There was too much accepting of balls going into the keeper’s hands, or balls going past the post from crosses (at Crawley).

“My players need to demand a lot more off each other, and I didn’t see that in the second half.

“That’s what was so disappointing for me, because we have been a demanding team in the past. We weren’t good enough against a lowly Crawley side who worked their socks off. There’s no way I would say we were suffering from mental or physical fatigue.

“We all need to look at ourselves at times, and this is one of those times. I take the fair stick of it, but sometimes you have to hold up your hands and say you weren’t good enough,” added McGreal.

A win for the U’s would see them return to the top seven, because Exeter and Forest Green Rovers are not in league action.

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