COLCHESTER United head coach John McGreal admits he has plenty of food for thought in terms of his next team selection.

He said Saturday's 1-0 defeat at Cambridge United "opens your mind up a bit" and pointed to the fresh options now available to him, with the U's having made five new signings on Thursday.

Three of Colchester’s deadline day additions were among the substitutes on Saturday – Brandon Comley, Nicke Kabamba and Sanmi Odelusi - but there was no place on the bench for Brandon Hanlan or Ryan Inniss.

However, McGreal says he will be mulling over his options ahead of next weekend's home game against Crawley Town.

“We gave the boys an opportunity from last week as we played ever so well (against Forest Green)," said the U's boss, referring to the unchanged line-up he picked for the Cambridge game.

“This (the Cambridge game) opens your mind up a little bit to the boys on the bench who are desperate to play.

“We’ll have to make some decisions throughout the week to see which way we go (against Crawley).

“These boys have come in and they need an opportunity.

“The only way that they get that is to prove what they do, on the pitch.

“We now have options on the bench and if things aren’t working out and if players aren’t performing, we will make the changes.

“We want to win games of football and we have to certainly do something with our away form."

McGreal said he was "desperate" to get Kabamba on at the Abbey Stadium.

But he said circumstances forced his hand and meant other changes were necessary.

“Nicke's a clinical finisher as we’ve seen in training already and he’s pacy and will cause a threat," he said.

“I was desperate to get him on but with the way things were and with Reidy (Kyel Reid) going off, we had to change that personnel a little bit.

“Kins (Lewis Kinsella) was a tactical one really – he’d been booked and there were a couple of things where we felt he was getting targeted late on in the first half so we changed that.

“Reidy felt his hip again in the second half.

“He hadn’t trained all week but he declared himself fit on the Friday.

“It was touch and go - we knew he’d play a part of it but didn’t realise he would have to go off just after half-time.

“It was a bit of a blow to us and a blow to him really."

Inniss missed out because of a knee injury.

However, McGreal has high hopes for him and is looking forward to seeing him in the team.

“Ryan is injured at the moment but will bring that leadership that we need and he will be vocal and experienced," he said.

“He’s a big lad and he’s competitive.

“He played for Palace under-23s and just injured his knee slightly so he needs a little bit of time."