ESSEX coach Paul Grayson says the next week is very important for his side if they are to make progress in the One-Day Cup.

The Eagles host Gloucestershire at Chelmsford tonight in what will be the first of three matches in four days in the competition.

They then travel to play Derbyshire Falcons on Sunday at Derby before facing Yorkshire Vikings at Scarborough 24 hours later.

Grayson’s side go into tonight’s game in upbeat mood after a comprehensive win over Lancashire on Tuesday.

“The players were still hurting from the T20 Blast defeat by Birmingham Bears so all credit to them for their professionalism on Tuesday, I thought they were outstanding,” said Grayson.

“It was nice to get back on the winning trail again after a couple of losses and we now have a really important week ahead in this format.

“The matches are coming thick and fast, and hopefully we can put in another good performance today that will get us on a roll for Sunday and Monday.

“We are seeing players improving and progressing all the time. For example, Tom Westley is having an outstanding season in all formats, he’s really matured as a player. He’s led the batting this year and I’m really pleased for him.

“Matt Salisbury is also improving; the more games he plays, the better he’s going to get. He’s had a recurrence of his back problem which we’ve got to keep managing.

“Kishen Velani came into the side on Tuesday and looked very comfortable and composed at this level. We were very pleased how he batted at number four and we’ve got a lot of confidence in him that he’ll have an excellent career.

“But as I said, it was a very professional performance from all the guys against Lancashire and we are looking forward to more of the same over the next week.”

Today’s match starts at 2pm whilst the two away matches with Derbyshire and Yorkshire are scheduled to commence at 10.30am.