JOHN McGreal is ready to go head to head with one of his former team-mates this afternoon.

The Colchester United head coach was a team-mate of Michael Duff during the pair’s playing days at Burnley.

The duo spent three seasons at Turf Moor together but following Duff’s appointment as Cheltenham Town boss earlier this season, the pair will lock swords for the first time as managers today.

McGreal said: “If you at from when Duffo first took over to where he’s at now, they’ve won two on the bounce against teams around them, so I’m sure they’ll be really buoyant coming to us.

“He’s changed one or two things around and we’ll do our analysis on them but it’s about what we do, most importantly.

“He’s a great lad and I have a lot of time for Duffo and Milts (Russell Milton), who I know well through Steve Ball who knows him from his Arsenal days.

“I sincerely hope he does particularly well but obviously not on Saturday!

“Duffo is quite a bit younger than me so he’s inclined to be doing his badges.

“We had another big mate there in James O’Connor, who’s now the manager of Orlando over in America and he was the same.

“Duffo was the under-23 manager at Burnley under Sean Dyche, so that’s where he got his badges.

“He was a great servant to Burnley – he played Premier League for them and now he’s dipped his toe in at his old club Cheltenham where he started.”

McGreal is hoping Colchester's home fans can cheer them onto victory this afternoon.

The U's were given fantastic backing at Northampton last weekend, with nearly 500 of their supporters getting behind them at Sixfields.

Colchester are looking for their first home win in five matches tomorrow and McGreal believes the fans can play their part in helping them achieve it.

McGreal added: “The away fans were fantastic at Northampton and it was very reminiscent to the MK Dons game.

“Close to 500 of them turned up and we’re hoping that the noise that they made can rub off onto some of our home fans.

“We need the South Stand to be going again, because we need to try and get better results at home than we have of late.

“It will be nice if the home fans can get behind us straight away.

“I know that the South Stand will without a shadow and we need that drum again."