John McGreal admits Ryan Inniss would make a “wonderful” permanent signing for Colchester United – should they get the opportunity to sign him.

The Crystal Palace centre-back has made a big impact since joining the U’s on loan from the Premier League club in August and played his part in helping them keep a clean sheet in their 0-0 draw at Coventry City, last weekend.

Inniss is on loan at the U’s from the Eagles until the end of the season, when his contract at Selhurst Park expires.

The 22-year-old would make a great signing for Colchester according to head coach McGreal – should they get the chance to make it happen.

McGreal said: “He would be a wonderful acquisition for us in the long term, 100 per cent.

“But we have got him on loan and he’s been great for us.

“Ryan is a mature man for 22 years old and a dominant one as well, when you look at his performances week in, week out.

“He’s got a hell of a career in front of him.

“He wants to play games and we’re giving him that platform but he’s also dying hard for the club, as well.

“You can see it in every performance and it rubs off on everyone.”

Inniss has been a consistent performer for Colchester since arriving just before the transfer window closed.

The former Southend United loanee has played nine times for the U’s and has been on the losing side only twice in that time, helping them keep three clean sheets.

Inniss was an impressive performer for Colchester at Coventry, after they made it four games unbeaten on the road in League Two.

After losing their first four away games this season, boss McGreal believes their game management has improved on their travels over recent weeks.

“There’s an air of confidence at the minute and they’re managing games a lot better now than they were in the early part of the season,” said McGreal.

“The improved away form is down to hard work.

“We haven’t gone away from what we’ve been practicing and preaching since I’ve been here but it’s hard work on the training ground and getting young players even the loanees buying into what we’re doing at the football club.

“The (Coventry) game came off the back of two tough games in quick succession and travelling in midweek, plus we’ve also had to change the team again with two starters from Tuesday being injured.

“Players have come in and done particularly well again.”