JOHN McGreal has told his Colchester United players to get ready for a battle in their decisive game at Lincoln City this afternoon.

The U’s know that they must beat the newly-crowned champions at Sincil Bank on the final day of the season and hope other scores go in their favour, if they are to bag a coveted League Two play-off place.

Colchester lie three points off the play-offs ahead of their game against the Imps behind seventh-placed Newport County and two points behind Exeter City, who are eighth.

McGreal said: “We know that it’s going to be a battle.

“It’s a different style of play that we’ll come up against and have to combat but we’re ready for it.

“Training has been good and the boys are looking forward to it, so it’s all to play for.

“We know that Ethan (Ross) will have to be protected – the boys will have to stand strong because we know that it’s going to be incoming.

“We know that it’s going to be a tough game and we know what we have to try and do.

“It’s still all to play for and there are a number of clubs in and around it.

“It’s going to change over the course of the 90 minutes I’d imagine and there are still going to be a few twists and stings in the tail.

“We’re hoping we’re going to be one of them.

“We’ve got the hardest task to go to the champions and try and win a game of football.

“We know that we have to rely on others but we also know that we have to try and get our job done, as we’ve done of late.

“As the chairman has said, we’ve got a bottom half (League Two) budget and we’re playing a team with a top-two budget in the league.

“They have top, top Championship players – players that we enquired about last summer and got nowhere near because of the money Lincoln have.

“We looked at (Jon) Akinde in the summer but couldn’t get anywhere near him.

“They can afford it, because of the size of their club.

“We know what we’ve got.

“Where we’re at is where we’re at and we’ve been in and around it all season.

“We play six of our academy boys week in, week out.

“We’re reliant on others and we could have done a little more in that blip that we had which came at the wrong time but blips happen.

“We’ve come through that and we’re hoping to the three points."

Colchester know that they must win against Lincoln but boss McGreal says that does not affect his tactics.

“We go into every game looking to win," he said.

“There’s only once or twice we’ve come away from it and done different things in the three years I’ve been here and it hasn’t overly worked.

“We have a DNA and we know how we want to play and that’s what we try and do.

“The boys have performed to a really good level.

“It’s very seldom that you can say that we’ve let ourselves down and we’ve kept 18 or 19 clean sheets, this season.

“The boys have worked hard to get them throughout the season - it’s being able to score the goals of late which is pleasing.

“They’re probably not getting what they’re due in terms of created chances and goals scored but we’re hoping to continue that on Saturday.

Kane Vincent-Young is battling to be fit for the Lincoln clash after missing Colchester’s last two games with an abdominal injury.

McGreal added: “Kane has done a little bit (on Thursday) with (physio) Tony (Flynn) and (sports scientist) Perry (Blanchette).

“He’s been to see the specialist this week and he’s come in and given it a go.”

Brandon Comley returned to training this week following a knee injury but is unlikely to feature, this weekend.