COLCHESTER United boss Steve Ball has stressed he is not afraid to make more tough decisions this season following Jevani Brown’s omission against Mansfield Town.

The U’s leading goalscorer was not even included on the bench for the 2-2 draw last weekend, having been an unused substitute for their previous game at Leyton Orient.

However, Brown, who has 11 goals to his name this season, could return to the Colchester squad for their trip to play Crawley Town at Broadfield Stadium tomorrow.

Ball says the former Cambridge United striker has trained well this week and says it is important he sees the right reaction from all of his players, if they find themselves out of his starting line-up.

Ball said: “Jevani’s going to be highlighted because he’s our top goalscorer and a big-money signing for us.

“He started the season off great and nobody more than me was delighted at that, as I’ve said on record.

“I don’t want to sound generic but every player has to understand that through disappointment and players coming in and taking their shirt, I need to see the right reaction.

“Jevani is a really good kid and a good professional but like anything, he’s going to have human instincts at times where there’s disappointment about not playing and it’s just about reacting in the right way.

“It’s not just Jevani; it’s everybody.

“Jevani has trained well this week and it’s one that we’ll look at for the weekend.

“It’s part of any manager’s job to see things every day and make decisions where people on the outside might be going ‘what’s happening there?’.

“I understand that and it comes with the territory but one thing I said coming into the job was that I’m never going to be scared to make a decision based on what I see every day.

“It’s not just one player – everybody in the group has to be fully at it in training, every day whether they’re playing or not playing or coming back from injury.

“They have to be committed in every side of it and that’s not saying for a second that that’s not the case.

“It’s just from time to time throughout a 46-game season, you’re going to get fluctuations in players’ approaches at times and I have to manage it and I will manage it, as I did last Sunday.”

Ball says he will take into account the performance of Colchester’s under-23 players in their victory over QPR earlier this week when picking his squad for the Crawley clash.

He added: “For the players who play in under-23 games, it’s an opportunity to show me and to show Hayden (Mullins) and to show the staff that they’re ready to go, as it is every day.

“Players have got to do that every single day; it’s their job to do that and they can’t ever dip that below that.”