COLCHESTER United head coach John McGreal is urging his players to go for the jugular and start on the front foot in tomorrow’s League Two showdown with Exeter City.

The U’s have developed a habit of starting games strongly, especially at the JobServe Community Stadium.

McGreal’s men return to their home ground for the first time since November 2, after trips to Accrington Stanley, Cambridge United and Newport County.

And having enjoyed plenty of success on home soil, where they have won seven out of nine in the league, McGreal is hoping for more of the same against the Grecians.

“It’ll be nice to play at home again,” he said.

“It’s been a couple of weeks since the Swindon game, when our performance was very good (in a 1-0 victory).

“It’ll be another tough game, which they tend to be at this moment in time.

“That’s good for us, though, because you always want to perform in front of your home fans.

“Exeter are a big scalp in this division so it’s a big game for us and we’ll be hoping for another good start.

“That’s what we’ve been doing recently, without being able to turn it into goals on our travels.

“But at home we’ve managed to create and score goals early on.

“That’s been a big plus and to win seven of your nine home games has been unbelievable.

“The hard work starts again because the boys have got a reputation now.

“I spoke to (Swindon boss) Phil Brown after the last home game and he paid us a lot of respect, knowing we’d won four or five in a row here.

“They came with a different plan and we’re finding that away from home now, too.

“But it’s down to us to do what we always try to do – win games of football.”

McGreal will be hoping his attacking players step up to the plate, given the absence of injured talisman Luke Norris.

The striker could be back in the next few weeks but is a certain non-starter this weekend because of the ankle injury he suffered against Swindon.

“I wouldn’t say there’s a pressure (to replace Norris)," said McGreal.

“It’s their job and livelihood.

“Everyone has a position at the club and if you’re a winger or forward, your job is to score and create goals.

“If you’re a defender, you’re looking to defend.

“It is what it says on the tin.

“If you’re a goalscorer, you’ve always got to look to get in goalscoring positions which, to be fair, we have been doing, without being able to execute goals.

“It’s just things like that final pass but we’ve been working hard on things like that in training, in the hope we can replicate it on Saturday.”

Colchester will be without the suspended Luke Prosser, meaning McGreal will have to shuffle his pack defensively, especially with Tom Eastman injured.

“Suspension and injuries are part and parcel of the game,” added the U's boss.

“I’m not one to give the opposition a shot in the arm by letting them know what’s going on but it’s out there and we know we’ll have to change our shape and personnel because we’ve got a suspension.”