Colchester United manager Joe Dunne says his side are feeling "upbeat" ahead of their home game against Sheffield United tonight.

The U's are hoping to bounce back from their 2-1 defeat at the hands of Preston North End, last weekend.

They face a Blades side who have won their last four games in all competitions but are level on points with the U's in League One, with both sides three points above the relegation zone.

Dunne added: "We've spoken about the positives - both from the last three games and generally this season.

"Compared to this time last year at the same stage we have more points, more goals, conceded fewer goals and turned defeats into draws.

"We've had some incredibly tough games but we've acquitted ourselves really well but we're all upbeat.

"Sheffield United are a form team.

"Nigel Clough has done a wonderful job for them and we've already had two tough games against them which have both been very close."

Dunne could make changes to his side tonight, as Colchester's intense run of games continues.

He said: "Considering the fact that we hadn't played for so long before the Port Vale match and having the intensity of having so many matches on heavy pitches, the players have done well.

"I'm pleased with the way we're playing but if we're going to get to the end of the season with everyone in tact we have to look at the way we do things.

"We have a relatively small squad and I have to make sure that I get us to the end of the season, because we don't want another injury crisis like we had earlier in the season.

"There are players who cover an incredible amount of distance during games and once they get into the red zone, we have to make a decision because if you don't, you run the risk of them suffering a serious injury.

"We're not alone in that but other clubs do have bigger squads to rotate.

"There's the opportunity to make one or two changes and we have players who are ready to come in."

Dunne added that striker Macauley Bonne has been added to the U's squad for tonight's game with the Blades.

For a full preview of the U's game with Sheffield United, see Tuesday's Daily Gazette.