Luke Prosser’s return has been pivotal to Colchester United’s recent improved form, according to boss John McGreal.

Having returned from a 14-month injury lay-off in January, the experienced centre-back has started the U’s last five games and helped them embark on a three-match winning streak in League Two.

Colchester have conceded just three goals since Prosser’s return to their starting line-up - two of which have been penalties - and head coach McGreal says the former Southend United defender has had a big impact.

McGreal said: “We have big experience at the back now, with Pross coming back and he’s been pivotal.

“It’s taken him a long time to come back from his injury and we had to rest him a couple of weeks ago, because he was feeling a little bit tight.

“But now he’s come back into it and looks super-fit, organising that back four.

“We try and bring a lot of training methods through and it’s good when you’re winning games.”

After a run of just one goal in five games, Colchester have now hit the net five times in their last three League Two fixtures, following wins against Forest Green Rovers, Luton Town and Stevenage.

McGreal said: “We’ve kept saying throughout this season really that we haven’t scored enough goals but at the minute, those one-goal leads are proving pivotal for us at the moment.

“It’s great that they’re producing wins but we’d obviously like to have two or three-goal leads.

“It’s not always going to be that way and it will come with experience.

“We’ve got some young attacking players and they will score goals.”

Colchester will be hoping to keep their winning run going when they host league leaders Accrington Stanley, on Saturday.