JOHN McGreal has challenged his attacking players to get Colchester United back on the goal trail this afternoon.

The U's head to Bury this afternoon aiming to rediscover their shooting boots, following a run of just one goal in their last five games.

Frank Nouble's superb strike in the 3-0 win against Newport County on March 9 was the last time a forward player found the net for Colchester.

And head coach McGreal believes that once one goal goes in, the U's can go on and score more as they chase a League Two play-off place.

McGreal said: “We’ve generally been alright in both boxes this season but at the wrong time, especially in the goals column, it’s stagnated and we want to get that up and going again.

“It will come – all it takes is that first goal and that’s the challenge to the forwards.

“All the players all over the pitch have chipped in with goals and now we’re looking at the strikers, the wide men and the midfielders to go and get the goals to get us to where we want to go.

“That’s the challenge to them now.

“It’s not an anxiousness in terms of being scared; it’s an anxiousness in terms of wanting to do well knowing that it’s getting close to the end of the season.

“It’s one where we’re hoping we can stay calm and get back to that level at the start of the season in both boxes.

“Goals change games - if you look back at the opportunities and the chances we had (against Oldham) they defended their goal well and made some good blocks.

“But we’ve looked back on it on the video and at times, we’ve chosen the wrong pass or tried to beat a man rather than pass to someone in a better position.

“They’re a young team and sometimes, they’re going to make the wrong decisions.

“You just have to forget about it and move on to the next.

“We have to keep going to make that chance again, to get on the ball again, to clear the line again.

“It’s my job to build those players up, to continue to play and not dwell under a little bit of pressure from the crowd and I thought the boys were brilliant in doing that (against Oldham)."

Colchester, who head into today's game on the back of a 2-0 defeat against Oldham Athletic, lie two points off the play-off places with five games to go.

“We’ve already got more wins this season than last season and we’ve also kept more clean sheets and scored more goals than last year," said McGreal, who has revealed defender Ryan Clampin has joined in with first-team training this week.

“We’ve improved on last year – we’re two points away from the play-offs and we don’t want to waste all of the hard work this year.

“We just want to keep ourselves in and around it."