COLCHESTER United head coach John McGreal is targeting another strong start to the season after they were handed a home curtain-raiser to kick off the new League Two campaign.

The U’s will begin the 2019-20 season by hosting Port Vale at the JobServe Community Stadium on August 3 and will also finish the season at home against Forest Green Rovers, on April 25.

It is the first time that Colchester will start a season at home since they drew 2-2 with Blackpool at the Community Stadium, back in 2015.

McGreal told the Gazette: “We’re delighted that we’re starting at home and finishing at home.

“We just missed out on the play-offs last season and for our final home game of last season against MK Dons, we had a big crowd and a great atmosphere and put in a big performance.

“It’ll be a tough game against Port Vale – they had a change of manager at the back end of last season and we know it will be a difficult match.

“But we know what we’re trying to do and we’re hoping to get off to a good start.

“We got off to a good start last year and keep ourselves in and around the play-off places all season.”

Colchester will follow up their game against Port Vale with a long trip to play Plymouth Argyle the following Saturday (August 10), before games against Cambridge United (home, August 17), Grimsby Town (away, August 20), Northampton Town (home, August 24) and Oldham Athletic (away, August 31) complete the opening month.

The U's will travel to play Leyton Orient on Boxing Day and will then have home games against Exeter City (December 29) and Crawley Town (New Year's Day) to complete the festive period.

Colchester will also discover who they will play in the first round of the Carabao Cup tonight, with the draw taking place at 7pm.