Colchester United head coach John McGreal says he will never try and change Kurtis Guthrie’s style on the pitch.

The U’s attacker was visibly frustrated at some of the decisions made by referee Darren Deadman in their 0-0 draw at Mansfield Town, last weekend.

He picked up a fifth booking of the campaign, although he will escape a one-match suspension as the cut off for five yellow cards was November 30.

Guthrie has been one of Colchester’s leading appearance makers so far this season and has shown his versatility by playing in several different roles.

The 23-year-old, who has also scored four times, has also been a passionate figure on the pitch and has not been afraid to wear his heart on his sleeve.

However, boss McGreal says he will not be asking Guthrie to tone down his style.

McGreal said: “I won’t be holding Kurtis back because he’s one of the good players who we want a little bit more from and hopefully he can flood that into the other boys.

“I love Kurtis to death, along with the other players.

“He gives everything on the pitch and I can’t take that out of him.

“If you look at him in the second half, he’s running the channels and chasing lost paper.

“He nearly got a winner at the end and he nearly earned his own luck, because of the amount of work that he put in.

“He’s going to be that type of player; that’s what has got him into the Football League – he’s got an opportunity and he wants to stay here and progress with the club.”

Meanwhile, McGreal says Colchester’s defensive improvement has come off the back of some hard work on the training ground.

The U’s have kept three successive clean sheets and have looked impressive at the back with centre-back combination George Elokobi, Tom Eastman and Frankie Kent playing in a 3-5-2 system.

“The clean sheets that we’ve kept and the defensive understanding comes with confidence – it’s the same as strikers scoring their goals,” said former Ipswich Town and Burnley centre-back McGreal.

“Defenders and goalkeepers love the clean sheets and I know that myself, from being a defender.

“You can hear George speaking, you can hear Frank a lot more and even Easty is coming out of his shell a lot more, offering his vocal support to people.

“They’re putting the work in on the training ground and they’re not taking things for granted – they’re working their socks off.”