COLCHESTER United head coach John McGreal believes the club are ‘in a great place’ as they head into 2019.

The U’s travel to play Crawley Town in League Two this afternoon, only sitting outside of the automatic promotion places on goal difference.

Colchester take on the Reds on the back of two disappointing home results, where they managed to pick up just one point from a possible six against Morecambe and Stevenage.

However, the U’s are still very much in the hunt for automatic promotion and boss McGreal insists with a little more fortune, the results will come.

McGreal said: “We’ve got so many young boys on the pitch and we’re in a great place.

“We’ve just got to keep believing as a whole and we all want to achieve together.

“At the beginning of the season, we started with Notts County away and they were pre-season favourites.

“We’ve finished 2018 joint third in the league, two points off second – going into 2019, I think everyone would have bitten your hand off for that.

“The hard work starts here.

“I’m really pleased with the last two performances – it’s just that we haven’t been able to put the chances away but it will come.

“It’s just about getting that little bit of the rub of the green.

“I’m a firm believer that if you continue to work hard, you get your rewards.

“The boys at the minute are working hard to get them but we’re hoping the start of 2019 will change for us.”

McGreal is set to make changes to his starting line-up again for the game at Crawley, as Colchester’s gruelling schedule continues.

Harry Pell is set to return in midfield, while striker Mikael Mandron is pushing for a start up front.

“We’ll have to freshen it again (today) and it’s ridiculous at times, with five games in 15 days,” added McGreal.

“But it is the festive period and we have to keep going.

“Having five fixtures in 15 days is a tough slog, knowing that we have another couple of games in a short space of time.

“I think the boys ran 13.5k at MK Dons, which was out of the norm.

“That’s why I felt as though we had to freshen it up.

“Some of the boys’ limbs were really sore and there’s quite a lot of ice around the dressing room.

“That’s why I felt I had to make one or two changes and we have to try and do it, to try and keep that freshness.”