COLCHESTER United head coach John McGreal says their upturn in form after a slow start to the season is all down to his players.

The U’s entertain bottom club Stevenage tomorrow having lost only one of their last 11 games, in all competitions.

There were plenty of comings and goings at the JobServe Community Stadium over the summer, with the likes of Dean Gerken, Luke Gambin and Cohen Bramall arriving and established players such as Sammie Szmodics, Frankie Kent and Kane Vincent-Young moving on.

Colchester managed a return of just two points from their opening four League Two games but have now lost only one of their last eight league matches and can move into the play-off positions with a win this weekend.

McGreal said: “It all comes down to the boys – they’ve been able to galvanize themselves.

“We’ve taken 14 points from our last seven league games which has been excellent, along with the Carabao Cup run as well.

“We have to continue to use that as our springboard and foundation to keep moving forward.

“It was a slow start but when you’re losing three or four top players in the summer, I think that was always going to be the case.

“We started the season with Kane (Vincent-Young) thinking things weren’t going to happen but then he goes and look how well he’s performing, at this moment in time.

“Sammie (Szmodics) might have a bit of an injury but Frankie Kent has been performing at a brilliant level.

“When you do lose those three, it’s going to take a little bit of time and I think we did have a slow start, there’s no question of that with two points from our first four games.

“You’re acclimatising to different personnel and the players you’ve lost, with the academy boys coming in and picking the right time for them to play.

“But over the last seven games, we’ve been able to take 14 points and had one defeat in 11.

“We’ve been able to turn it round as a collective and also knowing what bodies we’ve got, with the emergence of the likes of (Kwame) Poku, (Noah) Chilvers and (Ryan) Clampin.

“That’s a briefing that we still have to improve on, to bring those boys through.

“We know that, with the numbers coming into the team.

“It’s not going to be any different on Saturday, which is going to be a really tough game.

“We’re on an identical number of points to this time, last year and we’re also into the last 16 of the Carabao Cup and between us and the last eight is Crawley.

“We’re a couple of points off the play-offs and a win and a draw off the top three.

"But we need to improve on what we’re doing and there’s no better place to do that than at home.”