John McGreal wants any contract talk put on the backburner until Colchester United’s fate this season is decided.

The U’s are still in with a chance of securing a League Two play-off spot and lie five points off the top seven, ahead of this weekend’s home clash with fourth-placed Stevenage.

It is one of six regular season fixtures which will determine Colchester’s destiny – and also that of the club’s players hoping to clinch deals for the 2017/18 campaign.

A host of senior U’s players will see their existing contracts expire this summer, including Chris Porter, George Elokobi, Owen Garvan, Tom Eastman and Richard Brindley.

But U's head coach McGreal said: “Contracts will come up in the next couple of weeks but it’s already been on the backburner.

“Nothing is getting done or said because we’re a football club that wants to be focused with where we want to go.

“We want to push and I want to demand more from the players. I just want to keep that focus for as long as possible really, to see where we’re at.”

Meanwhile, U’s head of player resources Iain Moody says the club have already earmarked the areas of the squad they feel need bolstering, next season.

However, the former Crystal Palace sporting director insists their targets will depend on whether or not the U’s are successful in achieving promotion.

He said: “The focus at the moment is achieving one of our short-term goals but we also have an eye on the future.

“We’ve already identified where we feel the squad needs reinforcements.

“But the status of the division that we play in next season will determine the players that we go for.

“The focus is entirely on the Stevenage game and then Doncaster Rovers, the week after and we’re in touching distance of achieving one of our short-term goals.

“Things change from week to week but we’re in amongst it. There are up to a dozen teams in League Two at the moment who think that they realistically have a chance of being in League One, next season.

“In light of what has happened with the injuries everyone should be very proud of where we have got.

“All you can ask for at this time of year is having something positive to play for and that’s where we are at the moment.”