COLCHESTER United head coach Steve Ball praised his side’s work ethic after they claimed a creditable 0-0 draw at Bradford City on the opening day of the new League Two season.

The U’s competed well at Valley Parade and fully deserved their away point, to get their new league campaign off to a positive start.

Ball said: “I’m delighted with that.

“The players are disappointed not to have won at that shows a lot, as far as coming to a top team in this division who I think will be up there challenging.

“For 20 minutes in the first half, I thought they were the better side but after that, we had a great chance with Kwame in the first half.

“But it was a really great point away from home.

“I thought we were a little bit rusty in the first half and at half-time, I just told them to secure that first pass.

“We took control of it a bit more in the second half and were able to get our full-backs a bit more involved.

“The big thing for me today was how we mixed our game up at times.

“All round, I thought it was a really, really top performance in the second half.

“We had a big meeting in the hotel last night about work ethic.

“I’ve been here now a long time and I know what it takes away from home and that is a real recovery out of possession.

“We saw Poku, Gambin, Jevani Brown, Senior when he came on, those creative boys doing that and that inspires the boys around them.

“It triggers off a chain reaction and if we can keep that level of work rate up, we’ll definitely do well this season.”

Colchester were unlucky not to grab a winner in the second half when Luke Gambin’s effort was disallowed for offside.

The Malta international continued his busy run of games by playing 67 minutes of the U’s game at Bradford and Ball had words of praise for the attacker.

“I pulled him in the hotel last night and had a long chat,” added Ball, who confirmed that Callum Harriott missed the game because of a slight hamstring injury.

“I told him he was playing and the kid is just desperate to prove himself at this club.

“He just wants to do well.

“I don’t know what his minutes are and the amount of travelling he’s done over the last seven or eight days but full credit to him.

“He was so close on the offside goal; I think it was offside but it was very close.

“Luke has played for Luton Town and won promotion with them and he’s a quality footballer.”