COLCHESTER United head coach John McGreal insists the prospect of their forthcoming Carabao Cup showdown with Crawley Town will have absolutely no bearing on today's League Two clash between the two clubs.

The U’s travel to Broadfield Stadium this afternoon, less than three weeks before they meet the Reds at the same venue where a quarter-final place will be at stake.

Colchester supporters have this week been snapping up tickets in readiness for that tie, with some labelling it a 'dress rehersal' for the cup-tie.

But U’s boss McGreal says they are fully focused on the league clash and trying to maintain their fine form.

McGreal said: “That game is weeks away.

“We know we’ve got Crawley in the cup – that goes without saying – but I’m sure they’ll be exactly the same in wanting to get the wins on the board and we want to continue getting the wins on the board that we’ve been able to get, in the league.

“Once the build-up to that week comes around, I think everyone will be desperate to talk about it, because it’ll be a great occasion for both clubs because one of the division two clubs will be in the last eight.

“But until we get there, it’ll all be about Crawley in the league.

“We know it’s going to be a tough game.

“They started particularly well; injuries have come onto them but they seem to be in a good place with the Carabao Cup, too.

“They have a potent attack and that’s a big part of what we’ll have to try and look after, on Saturday.

“If they’re not scoring goals, they’re definitely a threat.

“They’re missing a huge player in (Ollie) Palmer.

“I know he got injured and I don’t think he’ll be ready this week – he might be in the next couple of weeks – but they still have some goalscorers in and around them.

“It’s a good game to come into, on the back of us beating Stevenage with the three goals in the second half.”

Colchester are aiming to extend their unbeaten league run to five matches at Crawley.

The U’s can move into the League Two play-off places with victory over the Reds, who are without a win in six matches in all competitions.

“We’ve been really good in the league of late but there’s been a lot of hard work behind that,” added McGreal.

“We had a slow start to the season and we had to try and pick up as quickly as we could and credit to the boys, because they’ve been able to do that.

“The cups have given us that little bit of momentum and now we’re looking to keep that going in the league – that’s really important.

“It’s a competitive bunch and that’s what we want to keep, if we can but also keep that harmony which is the most important thing.

“With that, we’ve been able to pick up some really good results and we’re hoping to maintain that.”