WHEN John McGreal was confirmed as Colchester United’s new head coach two and a half years ago, he immediately made improving the club’s ailing home form one of his top priorities.

That was no real surprise; in taking over in the hot seat, he inherited a squad that had mustered just four league wins on their own soil in their season of relegation from League One.

Sadly, it was more a case of fragile rather than fortress Community Stadium for the U’s.

But since McGreal’s appointment as Kevin Keen’s successor back in April, 2016, the venue has become a much happier place for its incumbents.

Colchester’s 1-0 victory over Swindon Town saw them reach a century of home points, under his reign.

Impressively, it was his 30th win as head coach in 54 games at the Community Stadium since stepping up from the U’s academy to take charge of first-team duties.

Colchester are nearing another landmark century on home territory, too.

They now need to hit the net just six more times to rack up a ton of league goals at the venue under the guidance of McGreal, who has been nominated for the League Two Manager of the Month award for October.

Significantly, Colchester’s home form this season is as good as it has been for some time.

Their home win ratio is currently 78 per cent, having racked up seven league victories and 21 points in front of their own fans so far.

At this rate, the U’s are well on course to surpass their impressive record at the Community Stadium in McGreal’s first season in charge.

In the 2016-17 campaign, they won an outstanding 14 league matches but just missed out on the play-offs.

This time around, Colchester have so far matched their results at home with some valuable points on the road - which is why they sit third in the League Two table.

Some tough tests await, though.

After a break for FA Cup action next weekend, McGreal’s men resume their promotion bid with a tough trip to sixth-placed Newport County who sit just two points below the U’s in the table.

Equally difficult games at Forest Green Rovers, Carlisle United and MK Dons follow for the U’s, before the end of the calendar year.

Needless to say, the key for McGreal’s Colchester will be for them to maintain their superb home form, while also picking up points on their travels at the same time.

That is the kind of form that will ultimately secure a side promotion.