COLCHESTER United head coach John McGreal admits his first year in the job has been a steep learning curve - but he is relishing the opportunity to further his football knowledge.

The U’s boss guided his side to an eighth-place finish in League Two last season - only missing out on the play-offs by a point.

It was a bitter pill to swallow but McGreal says he learnt so much along the way and believes it will stand him in good stead next season.

“There will be loads of things where me and (assistant boss) Steve (Ball) can get together and know we can do things differently,” he said.

“Sometimes you learn on the job, which is something I’ve been told by other managers like Paul Cook and Steve Cotterill.

“Decisions change in a heartbeat and it’s the same with injuries.

“I’ve got tons of things to learn and obviously I’ve been looking back and reflecting on the season as a whole with the players and looking to progress again.

“I think you have to learn from when things don’t go as well as you’d like.

“The Yeovil away game last November was a real, real low. But I look back on it now as a really high positive because it just got us to click in a different way.”

McGreal says his players will also be another year older and wiser next season.

He hopes that will tip the scales in their favour, when hopefully mounting another push for promotion.

“I think you’re always learning, even when you’re winning games of football,” he said.

“We’ve tried to bring in different things like when we’ve been ahead in games to keep the lead and get three points but there’s also been times throughout the season that we’ve thrown points away, like when we were going through the winless run.

“You will learn each and every season.

“Next season is going to be completely different again, compared to this one.

“It was so tight this year with the last game shoot out on the final day of the season and it just keeps everyone happy and involved. There’s a bit of a thrill and excitement.

“Will that stay the same next season? Probably, because of the way that the division is so we have another season to look forward to. The momentum that we built at the end of the season is something that we can hopefully try and build on for the start of next season."