COLCHESTER United head coach John McGreal wants his side to rise to the challenge when they take on promotion rivals Exeter City today.

The U’s take on the Grecians in a top-seven clash at St James Park, with both sides desperate for points to boost their hopes of a return to League One.

Both teams head into the game on the back of impressive unbeaten runs, with Colchester not having lost in 14 league matches and Exeter going ten matches without defeat, in League Two.

The two sides shared four goals when they played out a 2-2 draw at the JobServe Community Stadium little more than four weeks ago and boss McGreal wants his side to be positive, in their quest for victory.

McGreal said: “They’re second in the division on good form and we’re seventh in the division on good form, so it’s a great game and it whets the appetite.

“We know it’s going to be a really tough game; they had a good win in the week (against Stevenage) and last week (against Grimsby) and seem to be on a steady roll at the minute.

“But so are we with our unbeaten run and that point (against Bradford) was a great point for us to get us to where we want to ourselves.

“We face each other twice within four weeks.

“It’s random how it’s fallen and it’s the same for other teams, too.

“We were unlucky at our place; we were 2-1 up but then there was a little bit of a freak incident that led to their penalty.

“We could have won it in the last minute with Pelle (Harry Pell) but didn’t.

“Since then, we’ve gone unbeaten but Matt (Taylor’s) team have won a few more than us.

“We’re expecting a vociferous crowd but we’ll be looking to try and take the game to Exeter, as they did when they came to us.”

Colchester are hoping that forward Frank Nouble will be fit to play, after he was withdrawn in the opening stages of their 0-0 draw with Bradford City due to a back injury.

“Frank’s been out; he’s got good movement through it,” added McGreal.

“It’s a case of day by day assessment.”

Cohen Bramall, Michael Fernandes (both ankle) and Paris Cowan-Hall (calf) remain sidelined for the U’s.