COLCHESTER United chairman Robbie Cowling says the club are still hoping to welcome some fans back to the JobServe Community Stadium for their next home league game.

The U's have earmarked their League Two clash with Oldham Athletic on October 3 as an opportunity to welcome back some supporters - likely to be around 1,000 spectators - for the game.

Colchester and all other EFL clubs have been playing all of their games behind closed doors since the start of the season, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In his latest statement, Cowling admits that the extensive work involved in getting crowds back in to stadiums could be in vain - at least for a few more games - if the Government takes drastic steps in the coming days days, with fears growing of a second wave of infection.

However, the U's are taking very strict measures to ensure that their stadium will be extremely safe. 'even if there is a general increase in the risk of the virus spreading'.

In a statement on the club's website, Cowling said: "We are still working towards opening the stadium from October and we are likely to be restricted to 1,000 attendees for the first match against Oldham on October 3rd.

"We will be restricting that game to season permit holders only and that will be the case even if the number of season permits is less than 1,000.

"We will have to test every aspect of the stadium being open to fans and the first time we do it, we will want to make sure we are on the right track with the season permits.

"Once we have that working as planned, we will start to sell the Multi-Match Permits and hopefully that one game against Oldham will give us the confidence to make it available before the Forest Green game on October 20th.

"Our plan to launch a single match permit may need to wait a bit longer. Hopefully not."

While they are unable to attend matches in person due to the ongoing pandemic, U's fans have the chance to watch every game their team plays on iFollow.

He said: "In terms of fans watching the game, I think the EFL have created a great product and the revenue it is generating is gratefully received. It’s small amounts of income at the moment but I’m optimistic that more of you will want to follow the team both home and away as you discover just how good the streaming option is.

"And remember we are back to the broadcast quality cameras now, not the analysis cameras we had to use for the first two pre-season fixtures."

Meanwhile, Cowling has praised U's directors, coaches, players and 'every other member of staff' for the way they have dealt with the challenges that Covid-19 has presented.

Colchester have been undertaking strict measures both at their stadium and at their Florence Park training ground, in order to ensure that strict protocol is followed.

Cowling added: "What does excite me though is the way that all of the staff at the club have risen to the challenges that the awful virus has thrust upon us and simply got on with doing the very best they can do for Colchester United in its time of most need.

"It’s impossible to visit a single part of our club and not witness the brilliant attitude of everyone involved.

"The directors, the coaches, the players and every other member of staff involved at the club. All brilliant."