COLCHESTER United head coach John McGreal wants his players to take centre stage when "opportunity knocks" in the race for the play-offs.

The U's are 13th in League Two - six points behind seventh-placed Lincoln City - following Saturday's 1-1 draw at Mansfield Town.

It leaves them on the fringes of the promotion battle heading into their final ten games of the season.

Now McGreal has urged his players to show their talent and seize their opportunity as they look to make up ground on the sides above.

“The boys have given themselves a platform to try and win games of football," said the U's boss.

“We still feel it’s a point gained (on Saturday).

"We were seven points away from it and now we’re six.

“We’re a young group and when opportunity knocks, you have to try and grab it.

“That’s what we’ve been trying to stress to the players.

“We still feel we can have a say in this and don’t want our season to end.

“It’s a great start for us but now we have to build again, with ten games to go."

McGreal was delighted for "tigerish" midfielder Brandon Comley, who scored in the 51st minute to cancel out Kane Hemmings' first-half opener against the Stags.

And he also had high praise for reigning player-of-the-year Brennan Dickenson, who made his first start for nearly 11 months and managed all 90 minutes.

The wide man has been on the sidelines with a serious knee injury, suffered last April.

“Brandon has been excellent since the day he walked in the building," said McGreal, whose side have a home date with Yeovil Town on Saturday, followed by their rearranged trek to Morecambe next Tuesday.

“He goes about his business in a quiet manner but he’s a tigerish midfielder and he showed a bit of quality, skipping past their players and putting it in the bottom corner.

"I’m really pleased for him.

“Brennan’s got to sharpen up on set-pieces and shots but he put in a shift, not only defensively but attacking-wise, as well.

“It’s a credit to how he’s managed his injury and how he’s come back in his condition, to put in 90 minutes against a strong team."