COLCHESTER United head coach Danny Cowley admits he did not want to take Cameron McGeehan off against Stockport County.

But the U’s boss says he substituted the influential attacking midfielder amid fears he may be sent off and subsequently hit with a hefty suspension, ahead of the club’s vital League Two run-in.

McGeehan had impressed for Colchester for 75 minutes against leaders Stockport, scoring their goal and making an impact in the hosts’ 2-1 defeat at the JobServe Community Stadium.

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The 29-year-old had also had a penalty saved and been booked for a 71st-minute foul, leaving him walking a disciplinary tightrope for the remainder of the game.

McGeehan has already been sent off twice for Colchester this season and another dismissal would have been particularly damaging, both in the game and for the remainder of the campaign.

The former Luton Town midfielder was visibly disappointed to come off but boss Cowley says it was a decision he had to make.

Cowley said: “He didn’t want to come off, we didn’t want to take him off.

“But he was on a booking and he’s already been sent off twice, this year.

“He plays with a lot of emotion, which makes him the player that he is.


“If he’d been sent off, I think he’d end up with a four-game ban and we’d lose him for the rest of the season.

“He’s too an important player to do that so I have to do what I don’t want to do and save him from himself.”

Colchester’s defeat against Stockport leaves them a point adrift of safety, with five games remaining.

The U’s make the trip to play play-off chasers Crawley Town, on Saturday.

“It doesn't matter how many times we get punched on the nose, we're going to keep getting up, we're going to go again and we're going to keep moving forward,” said Cowley.

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"We're going right to the end and I can promise anybody that has Colchester United in their heart that we are totally committed to this.

"We're totally focused and we're going to back on Saturday (against Crawley) and respond to the disappointment of these results and go again.

"Since we've come in, we've always said of the process that it's about the performance and we've played two of arguably the best two teams in the division, over the last two games.

"For 60 minutes against Wrexham, I think we had complete control of the game and for 90 minutes against Stockport, we competed and were on the front foot, against the best team in the league.


"There was a lot to be proud of, in terms of the performance.

"I don't think we were technically or tactically perfect but our attitude and effort was perfect and I like that and I admire that and I respect that."

Harry Anderson is a big doubt for Colchester’s game against Crawley.

The on-loan Stevenage winger, who has recently been suffering from ulcerated tonsillitis, was forced off with a hamstring injury in the first half of the Stockport clash.