COLCHESTER United make a welcome return to competitive action tomorrow night - with head coach John McGreal hoping their fixture break has left them rested and revitalised.

The U’s host Stevenage in the Trophy second round, ten days after drawing 1-1 with Cheltenham Town in their last game.

Colchester have lost only one of their last seven games in all competitions, with that defeat coming against League One outfit Coventry City in the FA Cup first round.

And as the U’s aim to make further cup progress at the JobServe Community Stadium, boss McGreal says his players are raring to go.

McGreal said: “We felt a bit hard done by with the result at Cheltenham with the penalty decision awarded against us, so it’s nice to now being going into another game.

“The respite and refreshment is hopefully now there for the players after the fixture break and we’ve also had the opportunity to get a couple of the injured players back.

“The proof will obviously be in the pudding tonight but prior to the break, we’d been in good form.

“We had a terrific win over Ipswich but it’s going to be a very tough game against Stevenage.

“Mark (Sampson) has a wealth of players to choose from and we know how tough the game was when we played them, two months ago.

“But the boys are looking forward to getting back to work and getting involved.”

Colchester, who travel to play Stevenage in League Two at the start of next month, ran out 3-1 winners when the two sides met at the Community Stadium in early October.

But boss McGreal says that will have no influence on this game and is expecting a tough test from Boro.

He said: “A lot of things have happened for both sides since that game.

“Mark has got players back and so have we from that day.

“It’s been nearly eight weeks since that game and that’s a long time in football.

“We want to go through as much as they do and we’ll be doing everything we can to win a game of football.”

U’s duo Noah Chilvers and Ollie Kensdale have extended their loan spells at National League South side Bath City until the New Year.

The duo have been regular starters for Bath since joining them on loan, playing seven games to date.