Colchester United head coach John McGreal on post-Port Vale criticism

JOHN McGreal insists his Colchester United players have ‘nothing to prove’ ahead of their game at Salford City tomorrow.

And the U's boss has vowed to face up to any 'flak' that comes their way, in the wake of their defeat at Port Vale last weekend.

The U’s have suffered back-to-back defeats in League Two and received some negative feedback in the wake of their disappointing 3-0 setback at Vale Park.

Colchester head into their first-ever game at Moor Lane lying in seventh place and boss McGreal says his players are ready to recover.

McGreal said: “We’re hurting a little bit after last Saturday, so it’s now a time for the players and the staff to react in a positive way.

“I don’t think the players have got a point to prove.

“What we have got is an area to improve on ourselves.

“We always look to be an improving club and we want to improve on the positions that we’ve had, especially from last season.

“We’ve had a good season to date and we want to improve on that, in the last 12 games.

“We definitely want to improve on last week performance-wise but we don’t have anything to prove, in terms of the flak that’s been flying about.

“It was a defeat; we lost three points.”

Some U’s supporters voiced their opinions online after the Vale defeat.

McGreal admits that comes with the territory but the current longest-serving League Two boss insists he can deal with any negative feedback.

“The boys are hurting – they see things on social media,” added McGreal.

“Thankfully, I’m not on it and I try and keep myself away from that.

“There’s been a bit of flak flying around and it’s one where we batten down the hatches.

“I don’t know why at this moment in time there’s a lot of questions about the boys, myself and Steve (Ball) about where we are.

“But I take the criticism when it comes; I’ve told you that from day one.

“I’ve been a player for 20 years and a head coach now for nearly four years.

“It comes with the territory and if you speak to managers up and down the country, they’ll say the same.

“It’s the world we live in; it’s a nasty world we live in and all we want to do is be kind to each other.

"But that’s not going to happen because you only have to look at social media for that.

“Some people can deal with it and others can’t - I’m a lucky one, in that I can.”

McGreal has revealed his players have been drawing strength this week from the many positives of their campaign to date, including their memorable Carabao Cup run.

He added: “We’ve improved on last season at this stage; we’ve had a better season this season than we did last season to now and we now need to improve in the next 12 games, to try to get to where we want to.

“You draw strength from how the season has gone, from where the season has gone with the great cup run that the club has had playing the likes of Manchester United and the run of more than 100 days going unbeaten.

“You don’t become a bad team overnight and we were poor last Saturday (against Port Vale).

“I said that straight away and I don’t hide from the press.

“Questions get asked and I try to answer them in the best way possible, which is honestly.

“We’ve had a good week of getting everyone together.

“Yes it was an indifferent performance against Port Vale – we’ve lost three out of our last five but we’ve won two of those five, too.

“It’s individual errors that are costing us at this moment in time and we’re trying to eliminate them in training.”