McGreal is not getting carried away by U’s fine start to season
PUBLISHED: 06:21 30 October 2018
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Colchester United boss, John McGreal, refuses to get carried away despite his side’s promising first three months of this season.
The U’s are well established in the promotion race, after the first third of the campaign, currently sitting in fifth spot in League Two following last Saturday’s 1-0 defeat of league leaders Lincoln City.
The Essex club have won six of their first eight home matches, to boast the best home record in the whole division, and are only one point adrift of the automatic promotion zone.
But McGreal is merely focusing on the matter in hand, which means looking ahead to the next challenge, another home fixture against mid-table Swindon Town this Saturday.
“I’m not even talking about the play-offs,” insisted McGreal.
“We are no way even cementing ourselves in the play-offs yet. It’s not even November, and it’s (win over Lincoln) only three points.
“We felt hard done by on Tuesday (1-0 defeat at Grimsby Town) after having 20-odd shots and not scoring. I felt we had to get back on it.
“The big-hitters came to town, in leaders Lincoln, so it was a big occasion and a great atmosphere.
“I just thought when we did play the football we did, we were able to create opportunities. I thought it was a man’s game, between two physical teams.
“We have a great home record. Since I’ve been here, we have always had a good home record, though I believe that the home form was really poor before (assistant) Steve (Ball) and I took over.
“That’s six clean-sheets now, which is excellent for the back four and the keeper. Saturday was a terrific three points, but that’s all it is,” added McGreal.
Six clean-sheets from 16 starts is an impressive ratio, with the U’s having already shut-out Notts County and Morecambe on their travels, and Port Vale, Crewe, Cambridge United and Lincoln on home turf.
“We stood up to Lincoln, which you’ve got to do against them,” continued McGreal.
“They have blown teams apart in this division, and had scored six in their previous away game against Port Vale. I thought we stood up to them as a man.
“Of course we had to defend, but we changed the shape after the three-man defence of previous games, and I felt it worked.”