JOHN McGreal has been spending time recently reading up on Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola and how he has achieved his considerable success in the game.

So perhaps it was little wonder that Colchester United head coach’s side served up some of their silky football they did, in brushing Cheltenham Town aside at the weekend.

Guardiola, with his renowned reputation for creating winning sides who are also pleasing on the eye as shown in their thrashing of Chelsea yesterday afternoon, would surely have approved of some of the eye-catching attacking play the U’s produced – and the fine goals that were dished up as a result.

“I've been reading about Pep Guardiola and the success that he's had and it’s all down to players - we’ve created a great environment at the club,” said McGreal after the 3-0 win over the Robins, which lifted Colchester up to fourth spot in League Two.

It certainly seems that the U’s promotion push is back on track; that is, if it ever went off course in the first place.

A run of one win in seven resulted in them temporarily dropping out of the play-off places, where they have been residing for the vast majority of the campaign.

But they had never been far away – and are widely recognised up and down the league as one of the best sides in the division.

McGreal, who chalked up his 50th league win earlier this month, has always been an advocate of free-flowing football, encouraging his side to be positive and creative in the final third.

His side’s performances over the last couple of games are nothing new in the context of his time in charge.

Nevertheless, it is pleasing that they have come on the back of a wobble – and with the season approaching its final third it is good timing.

Colchester’s players are not currently mentioning the promotion word and that is probably wise.

They are determined to adhere to the old football cliché of taking one game at a time and that is understandable, given that there are still 16 games to go.

But like at Guardiola's title-chasing City, it is clear that Colchester's players are giving their all for McGreal.

And on the back of the last two performances, U’s supporters might be forgiven for thinking that this might be the year for their side to last the distance.