COLCHESTER United defender Ryan Jackson believes his in-form side have the ingredients to cook up a promotion push this season.

Saturday’s 1-0 victory at Barnet was the U’s fifth win in eight League Two matches.

They have only lost once in that time, keeping four clean sheets and conceding just five goals.

Right wing-back Jackson has been a key figure in that run and with his side tenth in the table - just two points off the play-offs - he believes there is plenty to be optimistic about.

“We missed out on the play-offs last year and we’re obviously trying to rectify that or hopefully go top three,” said the former Macclesfield Town, Newport County and Gillingham man.

“Our league form has been good and we’re probably one of the most in-form teams of late, in our last seven or eight games.

“If we continue that, that’s where we need to go.

“It’s about picking up points on the road and taking care of your home games.

First things first, if you can keep clean sheets then you have every chance in the world to win the game.

“We’re solid at the back and we know we have the attacking threat and players up front who can score goals - we’ve got a lot of firepower going forward.”

In contrast to their excellent league form, Colchester recently had a week to forget in cup competitions - crashing out of the FA Cup against non-league Oxford City before losing at Essex rivals Southend United, in the Checkatrade Trophy.

Next weekend’s home game against Morecambe will be their first match back at the Weston Homes Community Stadium since slipping up against National League South strugglers Oxford.

“The two cup results have gone now and the main thing for us is trying to take care of the league,” said Jackson, who scored in this season’s matches against Crawley and Newport County.

“It’s Morecambe next for us this weekend and you have to take care of your home games, so we’ll be looking to get another three points.”

Colchester’s latest success came courtesy of a late goal from Sammie Szmodics, at Barnet on Saturday.

It means they are unbeaten in four, winning three of them, and Jackson praised Szmodics.

“Szmods took his goal very well and it was a good finish,” said the 27-year-old.

“I was free but I think a cross would have been more on for me so I couldn’t blame him!”