JOHN McGreal has called for a 'strong referee' for Colchester United's crunch clash with Lincoln City on Saturday.

Experienced official Trevor Kettle will be the man in the middle for the U's game at Sincil Bank, where Colchester have to win to have any chance of making the League Two play-offs.

Colchester know that they must beat the League One-bound newly-crowned champions on their own turf and also hope that Newport County lose at Morecambe and Exeter City drop points at Forest Green Rovers, if they are to have any chance of clinching the fourth and final play-off spot that is up for grabs.

McGreal said: “We really need a big strong ref who’s going to stand up to what’s thrown at us - that’s really important on Saturday.

“Then it’s up to us to implement our game when we can.

“Trevor knows the league really well and he’s excellent in that – he doesn’t get swayed any way.

“He does it his way and that’s what you probably need come Saturday, a good strong man in the middle.

“We know we have to win a game of football – Lincoln will be there to spoil the party but also enjoy their party, because they’ve won the league.

“It’ll be a good occasion for them and we’re hoping it will be a good occasion for us.

“I’m sure Danny and Nicky (Cowley) will want to put one over on us because they’re local boys."

Colchester are expected to be backed by hundreds of their supporters at Lincoln this weekend, as they bid to make the play-offs.

The U's go into the game on the back of claiming seven points from a possible nine, in their last three games.

“The fans are really positive, as we are," added McGreal.

“It’s great that the fans are coming in numbers and it was great against MK, who made it as well.

“The bond between the players and the fans is there for all to see and we need to continue that, if we want to be successful.

“We’ve not been too bad on our travels and if we win, it’ll be the best (away record) we’ve had for a number of years which is another little challenge we set ourselves."