John McGreal admits they have had to carry out some rebuilding this summer as he attempts to make Colchester United a force in League Two.

The U’s have brought in five new first-team signings since the end of last season but eight senior players have departed.

Colchester have lost the experience of the likes of last season’s top scorer and captain Chris Porter and George Elokobi, replacing them with the likes of Mikael Mandron and new loan signing, Kyel Reid.

McGreal admits it has been a difficult opening week of the season, with his side drawing with Stevenage and losing at Accrington Stanley, along with exiting the Carabao Cup at the hands of Championship side Aston Villa.

And ahead of the U’s trip to play Luton Town this weekend, the U’s head coach says his players are having to adjust.

McGreal said: “The first week of the season has been really tough.

“We’re a young squad, amid the rebuilding we’re doing at the club.

“That’s how football is at the moment and I’ve found that, after two pre-seasons.

“Players move on and players come in.

“We’ve got our philosophy and we want to adapt it.

“The quicker the players adjust to that, the better.

“We’ve been in all of our games.

“We’re creating chances and sooner rather than later, we will score goals.”

Summer signing Mikael Mandron got off the mark for Colchester when he scored their equaliser in their 1-1 draw with Stevenage, last weekend.

Fellow attacker Sammie Szmodics was also on target at Accrington on the opening day and boss McGreal wants to see other players weighing in with goals for the U’s, this season.

“It’s not just up to the centre-forwards,” he said.

“Last season, we had others who chipped in and it’s not all down to Mikael (Mandron).

“Drey Wright and Sammie Szmodics both need numbers next to their names too.

“We’re a young team and if we can the bodies alongside him, with Szmods and Drey breaking off him, we can be a potent force.

“We pushed Drey up front with Mika (against Stevenage) and I thought the system change worked quite well and we created more chances.”