Colchester United head coach John McGreal admits it was a 'bitter blow' to lose key defender Ryan Inniss to injury.

The Crystal Palace loanee hurt his shoulder in the opening minutes of the second half in the U's 3-1 win over Exeter City, at the Weston Homes Community Stadium.

Inniss, who has been sidelined with a shoulder injury in the past, has been in superb form for Colchester over recent weeks, helping them draw level with the teams in the top seven in League Two.

And McGreal concedes it was disappointing to lose their influential centre-back.

McGreal said: “It’s a bitter blow – we’re hoping fingers crossed that it’s not too much of a problem but we won’t know until later on in the week.

“It’s sore at the moment and it’s one where we’re going to have to assess it with (head physio) Tony Flynn.

“We didn’t really adapt to him going off and I think that’s when they got their head of steam which caused us one or two problems.

“But then I thought Frankie (Kent) came into his own a little bit."