Colchester United boss Joe Dunne plans to wrap his players in cotton wool this week.

The Irishman hopes to safeguard against any further injuries, with several of his current squad on the sidelines.

With key personnel already out, Dunne was hit by three more – Tosin Olufemi, Drey Wright and Tom Eastman – suffering knocks in the build-up to Saturday’s draw against Crawley.

And with his squad being stretched, the U’s manager says extra care will be taken in terms of planning and preparing this week’s training.

Colchester also have tonight's friendly against Crystal Palace, at the Weston Homes Community Stadium, to factor in before their next League One appointment, at Bristol City, on Saturday.

Clinton Morrison and Marcus Bean are both set to feature against the Eagles.

“We’ve got tonight’s match and I want some of my senior players to play, because they need games,” said Dunne.

“But we have to be very careful what we do this week.

“They won’t do much and we’ve got to tailor our training, but we’ve already got a plan.”

Tonight’s match, which kicks-off at 7pm, follows the success of recent friendlies against Arsenal and West Ham XIs.

It will give both sides a chance to give their fringe players some match action.

Usual Under-21s prices apply, while Junior U’s and U’s Crew members can gain free entry.