STEVE Ball admits his Colchester United need to up their standards – despite seeing them record back-to-back wins in League Two.

But while the U’s boss concedes there is room for improvement, he is nevertheless pleased to see them claim victory in games when they have not been at their best.

Colchester produced a below-par first-half display against Harrogate Town but improved after half-time to claim a 2-1 win, following up their 1-0 triumph over Forest Green Rovers.

It is now one league defeat in eight for the U’s and while Ball wants his team to be better, he is happy to see them grind out results.

Ball said: “I need the standards higher and I know they will be but it’s an unbelievable trait to have, to win games of football when you’re not at your best.

“I’ve been here for too long to say ‘we’ve played well but we got beat’ and I don’t really want to be that team.

“I’ll take bad performances or average halves of football; we find a way to win and that’s a brilliant trait to have.

“This is such a difficult division and I think we’re probably about 60 per cent of our actual qualities at the moment and if we’ve got 40 per cent more to come, then that’s really positive for me as well.

“The players know that they can do much more and that’s great.

“There’s a real drive in there with the likes of Tommy Smith, Dean Gerken and Harry Pell and they all want to get the best out of each other.

“It was a disappointing defeat at Carlisle but to come back against teams like Forest Green and Harrogate who I think will definitely be up there and get maximum points puts us in a great position.

“There were some questions raised when teams scored against us this season and we’ve learnt from that.

“I keep saying that it’s a new group and I’m a new manager this year.

“We have to expect some indifferent period and if we can maximum points in the last two games through playing indifferently, that’s a brilliant positive.”

Colchester are back in action tomorrow night when they travel to play League Two leaders Newport County (7pm kick-off).