Colchester United head coach John McGreal on Crawley Town defeat

COLCHESTER United head coach John McGreal admits his side 'let themselves down' in the second half after they surrendered a half-time to lose at Crawley Town.

The U's were beaten 2-1 at Broadfield Stadium, after second-half goals from Reece Grego-Cox and Mason Bloomfield for the hosts cancelled out Luke Prosser's headed opener.

It was a disappointing display by Colchester after the break and boss McGreal admits they were not at their best after the interval.

McGreal said: "I don't know where that second half came from.

"In the first half, it was a tight game.

"We scored a good goal and were always in control and stopping crosses.

"But in the second half, they gained a bit of territory from keeping it in and around the space in front of our back four.

"We allowed too many balls into our box in the second half, whether it was shots or crosses.

"We've let ourselves down in the second half, there's no question about it.

"We had a slow start to the season but we picked things up and we felt as though we were turning the corner.

"It's back to the training ground now, to get back to the habits again, because the second half wasn't good enough."

Colchester surrendered a four-match unbeaten league run to lose to Crawley, after boss McGreal had made four changes to his starting line-up.

"I felt we nullified the threats that they had in the second half and we picked an attacking team," added McGreal.

"We got in and around them - we were wasteful once or twice but we felt we had the upper hand in the first half in a tight game,

"We needed a quick start in the second which we didn't get and they did.

"Their keeper went a bit more direct into their big man and I just felt we were slashing at things and our clearances weren't very good.

"If you're defending your line, you have to put your foot through it.

"We knew Crawley would come at us after half-time and that was all spoken about. "Our brief was to get it in and around their back four, as we felt we could hurt them a little bit but we weren't able to do that."