John McGreal believes his new loan signing Kyel Reid can be a "key player" for Colchester United following his impressive debut against Aston Villa.

The 29-year-old, who joined the U's on a six-month loan deal from their League Two rivals Coventry City on Monday, earned plaudits for his display at left wing-back in his side's 2-1 Carabao Cup first-round loss last night.

Reid played his part in Colchester's consolation goal, with his long-range strike diverted into the net by Frankie Kent.

McGreal has revealed Colchester tried to sign Reid earlier in the summer but were only able to clinch his signature this week.

But now he has sealed the move, the U's head coach says the former West Ham United youngster can play a big part for his side, in the coming months.

McGreal said: “We tried to sign Kyel really early in the off season.

“That didn’t happen for whatever reason but now we’ve got him and we’re delighted to have him.

“We’ve seen little snippets in his performance (against Aston Villa) that suggest he’s going to be a key player for us.

“He’s got that trickery and guile but also good legs and quality on the ball.

“He’ll also bring that little bit of experience that we’ve been lacking because of the injuries.

“He’s a really good signing and he’ll do well for us."