“We’ve all got things to learn” – Colchester United boss John McGreal

Rekeil Pyke battles with Mansfield's Hayden White during his full debut for the U's last night. Bren

Rekeil Pyke battles with Mansfield's Hayden White during his full debut for the U's last night. Brennan Dickenson is looking on. Picture: STEVE WALLER - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Colchester United boss, John McGreal, was delighted with the way his side bounced back from Saturday’s 4-0 home thrashing at the hands of Portsmouth, to defeat play-off rivals Mansfield Town last night.

The U’s are up to ninth in the League Two table, three points adrift of the play-offs going into the last nine fixtures of the season.

“Defensively, we needed to improve on Saturday, and I think you’ve seen that tonight,” enthused McGreal.

“We were playing against a tough, tough team in Mansfield. They put the ball into areas where you have got to defend, the first phase, second phase and third phase.

“I thought, to a man – and we had a young team out there, full of young boys – we defended resolutely.

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“Mansfield had lots of chances, but then we’ve been there ourselves. We were at Grimsby the other week when we had all the possession and still got beaten, and at Cambridge we again had a lot of the ball and only drew the game.

“Tonight was a different game, and we went into it with a different game-plan. We have executed two great goals in the first half and then in the second half we’ve let them come onto us and tried to counter.

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“It didn’t always work, but I want to learn how to win games of football – we’ve all got things to learn – and this keeps us around that top seven, with this performance.

“So I’m absolutely delighted with the result,” added McGreal.

The U’s supremo had special praise for Brennan Dickenson, who broke the deadlock with his 10th goal of the season.

The left wing-back, who was attracting the interest of Championship club Ipswich Town during the January transfer window, also set up the second goal for Sammie Szmodics.

“It goes without saying the reasons why the Ipswichs are knocking on the door,” explained McGreal.

“I’m sure one or two others will come in this summer-time as well, because he is a terrific player.

“Brennan was lacking confidence when he first came in, over the summer-time, but this now is by far-and-away the best season of his career so far,” added McGreal.

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