COLCHESTER United have been practising penalties ahead of their Carabao Cup tie at Crawley Town tonight.

The U’s progressed on spot-kicks in each of the last two rounds of the competition, beating both Tottenham Hotspur and Crystal Palace in dramatic shoot-out wins.

Penalties will be needed again should Colchester’s fourth-round tie at Crawley tonight be level at the end of 90 minutes and boss John McGreal says they are well prepared.

McGreal said: “It’s a cup-tie and a one-off game and the winners go through on the night.

“I’m sure they’ll be practising penalties as we have, just in case the occasion arises.”

Colchester will have a bumper away following at tonight’s game, at the Broadfield Stadium.

They will be cheered on by around 1,700 of their supporters in West Sussex in what will be a sell-out crowd as the U’s battle it out with their League Two rivals Crawley for a quarter-final place.

McGreal said: “To have around 1,700 of our fans there will be invaluable.

“When you look at the Crystal Palace game when we had 1,400 there, they made a hell of a noise that night.

“When we’ve been away and had a lot of fans there they’ve made a massive difference.

“It’s great that it’s not such a big journey and they will be there in full voice.

“We’re hoping that they will be fully behind the boys from minute one, because we need them.

“When we’ve needed them to get us going, they’ve been there like they were against Newport.”