JOHN McGreal has challenged his in-form Colchester United players to keep their standards high as they aim to extend their winning run this weekend.

The U’s are bidding to make it five victories in a row in all competitions when they host Walsall at the JobServe Community Stadium this afternoon.

Colchester could move into the League Two play-off places with a win and boss McGreal wants them to keep up the good work.

He said: “Winning is a nice habit to get into but we know at this level that it can be fine margins - it can be swept away from you in a heartbeat.

“We have to keep our levels and standards high and try and keep that consistency that we’ve shown over the last few games.

“It’s been a brilliant couple of weeks.

“The performances were there prior to the wins but the boys have been getting the rewards.

“We’ve had four out of our last five games away so it’s nice to be back home.

“That’s our instruction really – to try and start the game particularly well.”

Colchester will be without Brandon Comley and Luke Gambin for their clash with Walsall, with the duo away on international duty.

Harry Pell and Tom Lapslie remain sidelined but boss McGreal has some decisions to make, with several players impressing after being given the chance to shine in the U’s 3-2 win at Gillingham in the Trophy, on Tuesday night.

The likes of Paris Cowan-Hall, Theo Robinson and Brendan Wiredu all impressed in the Group A opener, at Priestfield.

McGreal said: “We were able to rest some but it also gives me a bit of a headache, because some of the other boys put in a real good performance, which is excellent.

“That’s what you want and it’s a tough selection for Saturday.

“We’ve had a couple of injuries which we could have done without but it was good to see Paris (Cowan-Hall) back in midweek and Theo (Robinson) has come in and will give that competitive edge up top, as well.

“The Gillingham match gave game time to the boys who needed it, which was excellent.

“We’ve lost a couple of big players in Brandon Comley and Luke Gambin.

“They’ve been excellent of late and a huge part of the success that the boys have had as a team.

“It will be hard for whoever comes in to fill that void and they’ll have to come in and do an equally if not better job than the two boys who have left.

“That’s got to be the next challenge for the boys coming into to fill those roles.”

Left-back Cohen Bramall could return to the squad following his recent ankle injury.