John McGreal has urged his young Colchester United squad to keep believing in themselves in the wake of their testing start to the season.

The U’s head into their home clash with Crawley Town tomorrow with only one win to their name and lie 20th in the League Two table.

Colchester have taken four points from a possible 15 to date but are now preparing for back-to-back games at the Weston Homes Community Stadium, where they have been strong during McGreal’s reign.

McGreal insists his team are “not far away” from where they want to be – and the U’s head coach believes it is far too early to read too much into the league table.

McGreal said: “It’s been a tough start and there have been tough fixtures.

“There’s been a lot of outside pressure coming in but the way that we’ve performed, we believe we’re not that far away and that we can get wins in this division.

“We went through a similar type of run last year.

“We’re five games in and we’ve got a couple of home games – it can all change in a heartbeat in this division.

“There are a few clubs in and around us at the minute who are bigger clubs than us and it’s the same in all of the divisions.

“The season hasn’t got started. We have a young team and we need to win games of football – the players know that as well.

“At times, they’ve let themselves down but generally, I’ve been really pleased with them.

“They’re learning the game and they’re trying to do things the right way.

“We have 50 per cent of our outfield players last year from the academy.

“We’re a young, dynamic team and we’ve tried to add one or two more players to make that mix better for them and that will come.

“We truly believe that we have a good foundation, a good team within our grasp – it’s just a case of getting a couple of results to give them that belief.

“I speak to a lot of different managers in different divisions.

“The advice is that you’re looking at ten, 15 or 20 games before things start to make their way out.

“We truly believe that we’re not that far away – it’s just a case of getting that little bit of the rub of the green and keep believing in what we’re doing.”