JOHN McGreal admits the mentality of some of his Colchester United players needs to change in the aftermath of their dismal defeat at Crawley Town.

The U’s slumped to a 2-0 reverse against a Crawley side who were forced to play for the final hour of the game with only ten men, following the dismissal of defender Joe McNerney on the half hour.

McGreal pulled no punches in his post-match interview at Broadfield Stadium following a disappointing run which has seen Colchester claim one point from a possible nine, over the festive period.

And after the U’s dropped to eighth in League Two and out of the play-off places, the U’s head coach said the character must be better.

McGreal said: “We need to change the mentality of certain individuals at times.

“Maybe they haven’t been able to handle the talk and the pressure of being in and around the top three.

“We’re back to chasing and we have to look at the bigger picture.

“Let’s see how they react.

“This is where you see the true character of individuals, which we didn’t see (at Crawley).

“One or two things were definitely said in there (the changing room) and I’m hoping for a reaction, which the fans will be too.”

Despite Colchester’s dip in form, which has seen them lose three of their last five matches, boss McGreal says his plans for this month’s transfer window will not change.

U’s chairman Robbie Cowling recently stated that there is unlikely to be funds available for new signings this month and despite recent results, there are unlikely to be many new additions – if any.

McGreal said: “Does it affect my thinking in the transfer window? No.

“I have a good enough squad and good enough back-up.

“But we might have to move one or two things around, because there are one or two are in the comfort zone.

Meanwhile, McGreal is facing a selection problems ahead of Colchester’s home clash with struggling Notts County this weekend.

Captain Luke Prosser was forced out of the Crawley defeat at half-time because of a quad injury.

And with Frankie Kent suspended for one match following his red card at Broadfield Stadium, the U’s have been left short of central defensive cover.

In addition, full-back Kane Vincent-Young is struggling to be fit after being withdrawn with a knee problem in the second half of the Crawley defeat.

And winger Courtney Senior, who appeared as a half-time substitute for Prosser at half-time, also picked up a knock in the disappointing loss.