COLCHESTER United will be "right up there" in the promotion mix this season, according to Mansfield Town boss John Dempster.

John McGreal's Carabao Cup kings head to Field Mill in confident mood following Tuesday's memorable victory at Crawley Town and then subsequently being drawn to play at Manchester United.

Dempster knows his side face a sizeable task but is hopeful they have enough in their armoury to build on last week's 2-1 victory at Walsall.

“Colchester are one of the better teams I've seen this season,” he said.

“They have an experienced manager who's had a number of years to put the team together and get them playing the way he wants.

“I expect them to be right up there come the end of the season because they play some really attacking football and are also well drilled.

“They will pose us another real challenge.

"They've had a good start, though they're only three points ahead of us now.

"That shows we're not a million miles off and if we can get a positive result tomorrow then that would be back-to-back wins and the team would be in a very positive mindset going into the FA Cup tie with Chorley.”

After a poor start to the campaign, Dempster saw his side climb into mid-table with three wins and a draw from their five League Two matches in an excellent October.

Those victories included a 6-1 thumping of Oldham Athletic.

“As a month, I'd probably give it a seven out of ten. It was definitely a positive month,” said the Stags boss.

“But we can only control the future.

"That month has been and gone and now we want to have a positive November.

“We've got some interesting fixtures and an FA Cup bout but we won't look too far forward as we need to concentrate on Colchester.”

After Saturday's 2-1 win at Walsall, Mansfield now have the division's fourth best away record.

However, Dempster knows they need to improve in front of the home faithful.

“Our home form hasn't been good enough,” he said.

“We've had some unfortunate results and at other times we've under-performed.

“At times, we've been a little bit anxious because we've not had the results we wanted.

"That can sometimes affect the players.

"But I've seen a real shift in energy at home, as well.

“When the home crowd are with the team it makes a real difference.”

Mansfield look set to be without injured skipper Krystian Pearce.