‘We don’t want to undo all the hard work’ - Colchester United’s John McGreal

Colchester United boss, John McGreal, shows his frustartion during last Saturday's disappointing 1-0

Colchester United boss, John McGreal, shows his frustartion during last Saturday's disappointing 1-0 defeat at Crewe. Picture; RICHARD BLAXALL - Credit: Richard Blaxall / Colchester United

Colchester United boss, John McGreal, does not want his players to undo all the “hard work” that they have put in over the last few months.

Mikael Mandron looks to get past Harry Pickering during last Saturday's 1-0 defeat at Crewe. Mandron

Mikael Mandron looks to get past Harry Pickering during last Saturday's 1-0 defeat at Crewe. Mandron never looked like adding to his nine goals for the season. Picture: PAGEPIX - Credit: Richard Blaxall / Colchester United

The U’s remain in the thick of the play-off race, but they did suffer a big setback with last Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at lowly Crewe, who had only picked up one point from their previous six league matches.

It was one of the rare occasions when the U’s failed to perform, or even test the opposing keeper, and that needs to change when another struggling team, basement dwellers Barnet, visit the Weston Homes Community Stadium this Saturday.

“The second half at Crewe was not good enough, it was one of the worst we’ve had, but it was only three points lost,” explained McGreal.

“We can’t undo all this hard work and hard graft that we have done of late. There is another dozen games to play, and a lot of points (36) at stake.

“This is a group that tends to bounce back. We might be pushing them and pulling them into areas that they might not want to go, but we’ve got challenges we want to make this season.

“We were responsible for our own downfall at Crewe. They sat on their goal, and we didn’t offer any of the play that we have had of late.

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“There are definitely areas to look at, because we brought on subs and we had other subs on the bench. It’s a big week on the training pitch for us.

“The boys had been doing particularly well in recent weeks, but football can kick you up the backside, when you least expect it.

“We had no threats in the second half at Crewe, whereas we had threats from all over the pitch in previous games. I don’t think anyone stood out for us.”

Last weekend was only the U’s fourth defeat in their last 21 matches, and they still have to play most of their promotion rivals during the closing 10 weeks of the season, most notably Mansfield, Luton, Accrington, Notts County, Lincoln, Swindon and Exeter.

“We are fortunate enough to be in the position we are – we are looking above us to try and push on,” continued McGreal.

“It’s in our hands because we’ve still got all the teams above us to play. We’re still around it. Other teams could have been pulling right away, but they haven’t.”

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