COLCHESTER United boss John McGreal has confirmed the reason why Frank Nouble was forced off during their 0-0 draw with Bradford City last night.

The experienced forward was withdrawn shortly after half-time and was replaced by Courtney Senior, for the remainder of the League Two clash.

Nouble needed treatment from physio Shayne O'Reilly and was forced to depart the action, in the opening minutes of the season half.

McGreal said: “Frank has been struggling with a bit of a back injury, of late.

“It’s one that we’ll have to keep an eye on.

“He had a chance just before half-time and it came a bit quick for him.

“He had to sort his feet out and went with his right foot.

“But he’s in the box and he’s on the end of the crosses."

Nouble's replacement Senior made his first appearance of 2020 when he came on for Nouble, in the goal-less draw at the JobServe Community Stadium.

The 22-year-old attacker had been out for more than three weeks with a groin injury but returned to the fray, against the Bantams.

“Courtney needs the minutes," said McGreal.

“He was a little bit rusty when he came on but it’ll be good for him.

“He got around 45 minutes so that will be good for him.

“It’s similar to Tafari (Moore); I think we got away with a little one last Saturday (against Macclesfield) and he needs his levels up.

“It’s the same for Courtney and Junior (Ogedi-Uzokwe).

“These boys that have been ill have to get their levels up."

Colchester were unable to find a way past Bradford's well-organised defence, last night.

Not the first time this season, the U's came up against a disciplined outfit who were intent on keeping the in-form hosts at bay.

McGreal added: “It’s just that 18-yard box, in and around there.

“We’re finding that quite a lot, when teams are coming and banking things off and dropping in deep and leaving one isolated player up.

“Teams are adapting to how we play which is a great challenge for us and our players.

“It gets us thinking from a coaching perspective and it also gets players thinking, to tweak one or two things to try and get the best out of what the opposition try and do against us."