JOHN McGreal says Colchester United’s bumper away following made their Carabao Cup last-16 tie at Crawley Town feel like a home game.

The U’s were backed by nearly 1,800 U’s fans at the Broadfield Stadium, as they booked their place in the League Cup quarter-finals for the first time since 1974 following an impressive 3-1 triumph.

The final whistle sparked a pitch invasion as jubilant Colchester fans ran onto the playing surface to congratulate the club’s players on their achievements.

McGreal said: “We had more than 1,700 and you felt like it was a home game – that’s the biggest compliment I can give our fans.

“It was a fantastic atmosphere from our fans and they thoroughly deserved their night.

“I'm trying to get the fans off the pitch because I'm trying to get all of our boys to appreciate the fans.

“When you get 1,700 of our fans coming over the bridge and supporting us, we want to appreciate them.

“The main thing is that they're going home delighted and some of the boys weren't even born in 1974!”

Colchester were forced to recover a deficit to win for the second successive match, after falling behind to Dannie Bulman’s 20th-minute opener.

Luke Norris equalised within two minutes and an own goal by Crawley keeper Michael Luyambula, along with substitute Luke Gambin’s emphatic strike, sealed a comeback victory for the U’s.

McGreal said: “It’s a good habit to have – even if you go a goal down, you still have that belief to come from behind.

“We’ve been in that position three or four times I think, this season where we’ve gone a goal down but they don’t panic and it’s a good habit to have.

“It happened recently against Stevenage and Newport.

“It was literally a repeat of Saturday (against Newport) but the big thing is that we were able to get back into the game.

“When it got back to 1-1, I just felt we were cool, calm and collected really and we were able to play our football really.

“That was the big thing – we didn’t get away from what we do and play football at the right time.

“It’s one where you’re looking for leaders of men to get that goal and we were able to do that straight after they scored, because their goal got their crowd bouncing.”