JOHN McGreal admits his Colchester United players were their own worst enemies after they were thrashed by Ipswich Town in a friendly.

The U's were beaten 5-0 by their East Anglian neighbours at the JobServe Community Stadium, to suffer their first defeat of pre-season.

James Norwood hit a hat-trick for Ipswich, while Kayden Jackson struck twice as Paul Lambert's side ran out comfortable winners.

U's head coach McGreal said: "It was disappointing - it's a lifeline as it's pre-season but it's a learning curve for all of them.

"I must admit, we were our own worst enemies.

"These are the type of games that we do need, just to give us that wake-up call.

"It was tough to swallow, knowing that it's against your arch-enemies as such with the fans and it being Ipswich.

"But they will go on to prove that they'll be a good team, in division one, with the quality that they've kept from the Championship."

Colchester had trailed 1-0 at half-time but were put to the sword by their League One opponents, in the second half.

"We were fine in the first half and we can take a lot out of that," said McGreal.

"We came in at half-time and we were generally pleased really and we were keeping a good side at bay.

"We were our own culprits with the penalty but I thought we were OK - we moved the ball well and we dropped into pockets.

"We beat their press when they came flying out in the first half, we were able to pass around them and caused one or two problems for them.

"We get in at half-time and we put on the board every week about stopping crosses into the box but within 15 minutes of the second half, we weren't able to do that.

"We weren't marking in the box and we weren't defending at the back post.

"As a defender, you need to defend your 18-yard box especially in division two.

"They were simple balls into the box and we have to defend better."

The introduction of key midfielder Harry Pell was a bonus for Colchester, as he continues his comeback from hamstring surgery.

Pell came on as a substitute with 21 minutes remaining and made his presence felt, picking up a caution along the way.

"There are one or two new faces in there but there are still players in there who try and get that personality that we need out on the pitch so that when things are going poorly, they react to it in a positive way," added McGreal.

"I thought they did to be fair and the amount of times we tried to probe but the turnovers in possession came a lot more apparent with their goals in quick succession in the second half.

"That's when you're looking for personalities for people to get on the ball and I thought Harry Pell was able to do that for us."