COLCHESTER United head coach John McGreal admits his side were given a ‘really tough workout' in their opening pre-season friendly of the summer.

The U’s ran out 2-0 winners at Isthmian League Premier new boys Bowers and Pitsea, in their first warm-up game ahead of the new League Two season.

Colchester fielded two separate teams in each half, with their second-half side producing a more effective display as goals from Louis Dunne and Luke Norris after half-time sealing their win.

McGreal said: “It was a really tough workout.

“It was a different condition with the sticky pitch but there are still no excuses with how we were trying to do things in the first half.

“I just thought we were a bit slow and wasteful in possession.

“The second half was better and we were a lot more fluid.

“At half-time, we spoke about areas where we need to improve and to be fair to the second-half team, they went out there and were able to do that.

“Saying that, I thought that we were wasteful in possession in both halves and it broke down a couple of times unpressurised but it was a terrific workout.

“It’s early days and it’s the first game.

“There are obviously things to work on but it was a great test and this is what we want.

“They’re a team who are flying at the moment.

“They’ve just won promotion; they go direct quickly and you know it’s coming in, so it’s a great test.

“Credit to Rob and his team, because they put a great shift in.”

Colchester fielded new signings Luke Gambin, Omar Sownumi and Michael Fernandes in their game at Bowers.

The U’s also included a number of their under-23 youngsters - with boss McGreal particularly impressed with one of their young starlets.

“The big story for me coming out of it was the emergence of Andre Hassanally with his performance in the second half,” added McGreal.

“I thought that he was excellent – he’s a young boy and he gave us those type of (Sammie) Szmodics runs which we’ve all been accustomed to for a number of years.

“We’re working on things in training – we haven’t got that penetrating run so we are trying to bring something different in.

“I also thought Gams (Luke Gambin) was excellent too and you can see what he wants to try and do.”