IT was pretty apt that John McGreal should use a train analogy to describe Colchester United’s excellent recent form, given the impressive way in which their season is currently picking up a head of steam.

“I know we’re going off on a tangent but when you’re on a train and you’re going through stations, you want to buy a ticket because you want to be involved,” said the delighted U’s head coach of his players following their fine 3-2 triumph at Mansfield Town.

“But you can’t get a ticket because they’re on the train just ploughing through, winning games all after what’s happened.”

It’s no wonder tickets are in short supply at present, given that Colchester are currently one of the hottest shows in town.

An eye-catching return of seven points from a possible nine against teams in the top half of the League Two table has lifted the U’s to within a point of the play-off places and just five points off new leaders Forest Green Rovers.

And away from the league, there is the little matter of a pre-Christmas Carabao Cup quarter-final at Manchester United to look forward to, in the middle of next month.

In both league and cup, everything is looking very rosy for McGreal’s men at present.

A prolific total of nine goals scored in their last three games illustrates just how irresistible Colchester have been as an attacking force, over recent games.

At times, Mansfield could not live with their fluidity and movement with the likes of Kwame Poku, Courtney Senior and Callum Harriott all impressing.

And at the other end of the pitch, the U’s look very solid defensively and currently boast the fifth best defensive record in League Two.

They have a settled back four and an experienced goalkeeper in Dean Gerken, who is proving to be one of the best signings in recent years.

All in all, things are looking rosy for Colchester, as they prepare to take another break from league action and turn their attention to two home cup games against League One opposition.

This weekend’s FA Cup tie against promotion hopefuls Coventry City and next week’s Trophy Group A clash with Ipswich Town will be another good barometer of the U’s progress.

But League Two success is ultimately the main goal.

And if Colchester can stay on track in the coming weeks, McGreal’s train analogy could prove very appropriate should their final destination turn out to be promotion come the end of the season.