COLCHESTER United’s players will this week kick off their preparations for the provisional League Two play-off against Exeter City.

The U’s first-team squad are set to report for duty at their Florence Park training ground in Tiptree, as they step up their training ahead of the proposed showdown with the Grecians.

Colchester last week completed a first phase of Covid-19 testing ahead of resuming group training.

Four of the 28 U’s players and staff that completed tests at Florence Park returned positive results for coronavirus.

They are now self isolating at home for seven days and will undergo strict monitoring procedures, including the need for a negative test, before they can return to the training ground.

Colchester are awaiting news of ratification from the EFL and FA on their play-off, after League Two clubs voted to end the season.

Meanwhile, forward Frank Nouble has admitted it came as a shock when he was told by Colchester that his contract would not be renewed.

Nouble along with fellow U’s first-team players Ryan Jackson, Luke Prosser and Brandon Comley, were told in April that they will not be re-signed when their current deals expire.

The 28-year-old has made 90 league and cup appearances for Colchester, scoring 14 goals.

Speaking to talkSPORT, he said: “It’s been a very frustrating period for a lot of players, not just myself.

“It came like a shock to me; we’re obviously having a good year with the team -we had a great cup run and we’re obviously in the play-off positions, so we were hoping to push on for a top-three position.

“But obviously getting stuck with this pandemic and then being told that there’s no renewal of contract for myself and three or four other members of the team who practically play every week is frustrating, to say the least.

“It’s just hard – if I was by myself and single it would be much easier because I think most people agree that you could up and leave and go where you need to go.

“But with a family, it’s more difficult and I’m still waiting for the news that we’ve been waiting for two months, whether we’re going to go back to play-offs or not and all this kind of thing.

“People’s lives are in the hands of people up above.”