JOHN McGreal insists Colchester United have enjoyed a ‘brilliant’ season – despite narrowly missing out on the League Two play-offs.

The U’s finished eighth and a point off the top seven, having just been pipped to a seventh-place finish despite a 3-0 final-day triumph at champions Lincoln City.

Colchester clocked up a total of 20 league wins this season, with only the sides that won automatic promotion chalking up more victories.

It is the most victories the club have registered in a single campaign since they won 20 games to finish eighth under Aidy Boothroyd, in the 2009-10 League One season.

The U’s finished on 70 points - their best points return under McGreal - and the head coach says there is plenty to be pleased about.

McGreal said: “I’d argue with anyone who says it hasn’t been a brilliant season.

“We’ve broken all our records, certainly since I’ve been here so I’m delighted with it.

“We’ve had 20 wins and I’d ask when the last time was that happened here.

“We’ve also had 19 clean sheets, Szmods (Sammie Szmodics) our own player hitting 15 goals at 23 years of age, Frankie Kent being the captain of the team, the amount of academy boys we’ve brought in and we’ve introduced one or two others of 18 years of age – the list goes on.

“It’s just that we haven’t been able to get into the play-offs which we all craved but it’s not for the lack of trying.

“You start to look back and ask ‘where’s that extra point’ and this that and the other but you can’t think like that.

“The season is over 46 games and with the blip that we had, we weren’t able to get a couple of points out of it to get us in but it’s been a brilliant season.”

Colchester enjoyed a strong finish to the campaign, which saw them take ten points from a possible 12.

They finished with back-to-back wins over promoted sides Lincoln and MK Dons but it ultimately proved not enough to clinch them a play-off spot.

Colchester will perhaps look back on a run of five defeats in six matches during March and April as being particularly damaging but McGreal insists every team suffers disappointing form, at some point.

“They haven’t let me down at all,” added McGreal.

“We’ve lost games but every team does that and there’s no way that these boys have let me down at all.

“They’ve given everything, from minute one of the season to the last minute of the season.

“Yes, we went through little indifferent dips in form and this that and the other but every team does that.

“To bounce back the way that we have is brilliant.”