JOHN McGreal generally doesn’t tend to get too high with the highs and too low with the lows.

The Colchester United head coach stays pretty level headed throughout the course of the season, whatever it may throw at him.

“The boys have been on a terrific run and we’ve lost three points – that’s it,” he said, following his depleted side’s 2-0 defeat at Newport County.

While naturally disappointed in defeat at Rodney Parade he was also typically philosophical – and that is the way he wants his players to be, too.

As they begin to prepare for a vital home clash against fellow promotion contenders Exeter City this weekend, Colchester will reflect on their performance at Newport, where they lacked enough quality at both ends of the pitch to secure the result they desired.

The U’s were certainly not at their best at but boss McGreal knows that there will be plenty of ups and downs, during the course of the season.

Which is why after Colchester moved up to third in the table following their 1-0 win over Swindon Town at the start of the month, he was quick to downplay talk of automatic promotion.

Don’t get too high with the highs, too low with the lows.

“We’re going to have to show different types of character and the hard work actually starts now,” he said, after that 1-0 win over the Robins.

Since then, his U’s side have lost each of their last three matches, although two of those defeats have come in cup competitions.

Colchester have always responded well to setbacks this season and have always bounced back from a defeat with a positive result.

That has contributed to a greater anticipation of this season being a memorable one; the impressive start they have made to the season has arguably increased expectation levels, outside of the club at least.

But the U’s are desperate to keep their feet on the ground and stick to their in-house targets - and McGreal is keen to avoid any rhetoric talking his side up as automatic promotion contenders.

Nevertheless, had you offered them the chance to be sitting in fourth place in the League Two table in mid-November, just a point off the top three, they’d surely have taken it.

There is still a long way to go and while those outside of the JobServe Community Stadium might be talking up or talking down their chances, one thing will remain constant – McGreal’s stable outlook.