FOUR points – three at home and one on the road – would normally put a smile on Colchester United head coach John McGreal’s face.

However, the League Two point his team took at Carlisle United only placed a grimace on the visage of the U’s boss.

That had nothing to do with dissatisfaction at his team’s performance against the Cumbrians, because McGreal was full of praise for their attacking flair and the number of chances they created and a solid defensive display that kept their hosts shut-out in open play.

Instead, it was more because he felt a solitary point was not a suitable reward for how his team had played.

Courtney Senior’s second goal in three games set the U’s on course for a win that would have perfectly backed up their 2-0 home win against Newport County seven days before.

But they paid the price for not making more of about 20 chances they carved out over the 90 minutes as a free-kick – albeit one of the highest quality – by Carlisle’s Jamie Devitt rescued an unlikely point for the hosts.

A frustrated McGreal, whose team are still five points off the League Two play-off places, said: “As we said last week, we just want to give it a good go in this window of opportunity.

“We have a good run of games and it’s now four points out of the last two.

“You’d settle for that 100 per cent – win at home and draw away – but because of the performance, away from home after a long journey and the effort the boys put in, I think we deserved more.”

McGreal’s team have a quick chance to overcome any lingering frustration as they host Coventry City at the Weston Homes Community Stadium on Tuesday night.

But while the U’s boss admits that it’s tough to see four points “thrown away” from their last two away games, the positive way they are playing should give them cause to be optimistic.

“We have to look to put on a show again as we have tried to do from day one,” he added.

“But more so now with the division being tight and three points are huge.

“We feel as though we threw two away at Carlisle and we certainly did in the away game before that at Port Vale.

“But the good thing with these boys is that they do bounce back.

“They are draws, not defeats; we are so close and we’re hoping it will change sooner rather than later.

“Look at the performance at Carlisle from a really young team – some of the football was exceptional at times.

“The link-up play, the running in behind, the opportunities we made; it was all good and we had good legs as well.

“The energy was strong and hence we got bodies in the box.

“It would have been the perfect away performance had we won, but it wasn’t to be and we have to go again on Tuesday.”