JOHN McGreal admits some players will have to be left out when he selects his Colchester United squad for this weekend’s trip to Cheltenham Town, as competition for places hots up.

The U’s head coach has a near fully-fit squad to choose from for tomorrow’s clash with the sixth-placed Robins at Whaddon Road – meaning some of his first-team players will not make the trip to Gloucestershire.

McGreal said: “There’s quite a few decisions to make, with everyone fit and I’ve been given a big-ish squad.

“We’re having chats this morning and there are going to be one or two players who are not going to be able to travel.

“You can only pick your XI on the pitch and then your quota of subs and at the minute, one or two might be left behind.

“It’s not through any fault of their own but it’s that competition that we want.

“What we’re trying to say to the players is ‘even when you’re in the squad, that’s a prestige thing to have and when you get a shirt, you now have to keep that shirt because you know now that the person standing next to you will be standing on you in training to get that shirt off you’.

“That’s what we want, without them going over the top and injuring each other.

“We get asked the question about why players aren’t playing but we’ve been tweaking our training and everyone is fit.

“We’ve had that competition up to date and we want that continue.

“The only way to do that is reinforcing it in training but also knowing that when one or two miss out, they’re going to be frustrated.

“But the best way to deal with frustration is to come back out in training and hit the ground running again and catch the management’s eye."

Colchester have no fresh injury worries for the Cheltenham clash, although they will check on the fitness of midfielder Brandon Comley following his involvement for Montserrat this week.

The game is likely to come too soon for attacker Paris Cowan-Hall, despite him being back in training following an Achilles injury.

McGreal added: “You would think that he might need a game before we consider him but Paris is a super-fit boy.

“He’ll need a little bit more work in a way but it’s great to see him outside.

“It’s been a long time coming – they’ve been nursing his Achilles but he kept breaking down.

“Hopefully he can get more training now and look towards a game."