COLCHESTER United head coach John McGreal says a decision will be made “over the next week or so” regarding the future of loanees including Kyel Reid, Brandon Comley and Brandon Hanlan.

The U’s chief is shaping his squad for the second half of the season and has decisions to make this month, while the transfer window is open.

Winger Reid is on loan from Coventry City and was sent off late in the first half of Saturday’s 4-1 League Two defeat against Cheltenham Town.

The 30-year-old, QPR midfielder Comley and Charlton Athletic front man Hanlan are all due to return to their parent clubs later in January.

“There will be decisions made on the loanees over the next week or so,” said McGreal.

“We’ve been making those decisions both prior to the (Cheltenham) game and also in the next week, because a couple of boys will see theirs run out then.”

Colchester allowed Lewis Kinsella and Tommy O’Sullivan to move out on loan last week.

Left-back Kinsella joined Aldershot Town for a month, while midfielder O’Sullivan linked up with fellow National League side Torquay United for the remainder of the campaign.

The pair followed Craig Slater in leaving the U’s, after the Scottish midfielder joined Dundee United on loan for the rest of the season.

“We’ve let players go out,” added McGreal.

“We have to generate money before we can go into the market, which we’re hoping to do this week, to extend and make the squad a little bit stronger.

“Over the next seven days, we’ll have a look at what we can try and bring in.

“It gives us that little bit of time now.

“Junior (Ogedi-Uzokwe) has come in and trained with us a couple of days (having penned an 18-month deal last week, following a successful spell with non-league outfit Maldon and Tiptree).

“He’s scored 34 goals so we want to get him in and around it and get a feel for it and the environment. If called upon, I’m sure we’ll use him.”

Colchester’s bright form came to an abrupt halt on Saturday when they were soundly beaten by Cheltenham.

However, they remain ninth in the table, just two points off the play-offs and only three adrift of the last automatic promotion place.

“The boys have put in an unbelievable shift over the last few weeks and I’m proud of them,” said McGreal.

“We’ve had three defeats in 18 – we could have done better but now I want to get another run going and get everyone behind us again and think about the positives if we can.

“We’ll regroup and we’ll go again.

“I bet you a pound to a penny that the boys will want to bounce back.

“There’s 19 games to go and we want to get another run going.”

Reflecting on Reid’s red card, the U’s boss added: “It happens – teams go down to ten men and it’s how you react and we haven’t reacted in the best way.

“We draw a line under it and move on because all that was at stake was three points – not a promotion, a play-off final or an FA Cup Final.

“There will be more defeats this season throughout the season.

“It was three points and that’s how I’m looking at it – we’ve lost them but we’ll move on again now for next week.”

Colchester have an Essex Senior Cup quarter-final tie at home to holders Chelmsford City tonight.

The Clarets, of National League South, lifted the cup at the Weston Homes Community Stadium last March following a 1-0 victory over East Thurrock United.

Kick-off at the Community Stadium is at 7.45pm.