JOHN McGreal has warned his Colchester United players that they cannot allow themselves to be distracted by any off-the-field events when they take on Bury tomorrow.

It is understood that the Shakers’ staff and players have still not been paid their March wages and the League Two club was this week the subject of a winding-up petition, which was adjourned by the High Court until May 15.

The EFL yesterday issued a statement saying that it is ‘extremely concerned about the developing situation’ at Bury, who have lost their last three games to drop out of the League Two automatic promotion places.

But ahead of the visit to Gigg Lane, U’s head coach McGreal insists his side must focus on themselves – and their own play-off chase.

McGreal said: “We have to concentrate on what we do.

“We know we’re going to be in for a tough game, no matter what’s happened of late or what’s happened behind the scenes.

“Bury have had three defeats but if you look at how they performed at our place and how they’ve been doing, they’re probably the best footballing team in our division.”

Colchester, who are two points off the play-off places with five games remaining, are looking to get back to winning ways following their 2-0 home loss against Oldham Athletic.

The U’s could be without midfielder Ben Stevenson, who is suffering from a hamstring injury and will be assessed today along with goalkeeper Rene Gilmartin (quad and knee).

“Ben Stevenson has just felt a tight hamstring," said McGreal.

“He trained today (Thursday) for the first time and we’ll just have to see how he’s recovering.

“I think it’s just the run of games that he’s had since he’s been here.

“He felt it a little bit on Monday morning and he came off it on Monday and Tuesday.

“But he trained today (Thursday) so so and we’ll have to wait and see what (Friday) brings.

“Ben being Ben, he put himself out there to train and we’ll just have to see how he is.

“We’ve got replacements in there.

“Noah Chilvers, who has done particularly well in training, there’s Diaz Wright and Sam Saunders.”