FRANK Nouble apologised to his Colchester United team-mates after having a penalty saved in their 3-2 win at Mansfield Town.

But U's head coach John McGreal insists there is no need for him to say sorry, after the experienced forward led the line superbly for his side at Field Mill.

Nouble had a penalty saved by Mansfield keeper Conrad Logan in the opening minutes of the second half.

It was the second time in three league games that the former West Ham United youngster had seen a spot-kick saved, after Crewe Alexandra keeper Will Jaaskelainen denied him from the spot in the final seconds of the U's 0-0 draw at Gresty Road.

McGreal admitted there has already been some friendly chatter among the Colchester players about who might take the next penalty, when it arrives.

But the U's boss says Nouble should not feel apologetic for his penalty disappointment after he led Colchester's attack brilliantly in the absence of their injured leading goalscorer Luke Norris.

McGreal said: “Noubs is as disappointed as anyone, missing two pens in a row.

“He’s apologising to the guys but you’re like ‘for what?’.

“He’s had to put a real shift in and toil on his own and he’s been able to get the ball in for the third goal.

“If Luke (Norris) isn’t fit, I’m sure Callum (Harriott) will be on the penalties next because there’s a little bit of jovial banter between the two of them!"

Nouble tweeted after the Mansfield win: 'Right that’s me off pens for a while...thought we were soo good today what a win. Safe trip home travelling fans we heard u loud and clear in the cold. P.s what a week'.

McGreal was also praiseworthy of Colchester's fans, with more than 200 of them making the trip to Mansfield yesterday.

“I’m thankful to the fans – I’ve got to give them a mention," said the U's boss.

“There were nearly 1,800 of them at Crawley and a few hundred (at Mansfield).

“It’s a wet, cold afternoon in Mansfield and hopefully we’ve given the fans something to cheer about again.

“It’s nice to score late goals, second-half goals where we’re coming in drawing a game but now we’re able to win a game in the second half.

“It’s a lovely habit to have – we did it the other night (at Crawley).

“Their manager John (Dempster) was very complimentary at the end and I thought some of our play was very, very good."