John McGreal wants his Colchester United players to maintain their impressive form – and secure him his first FA Cup win as a manager.

The U’s take a break from League Two action when they host National South strugglers Oxford City in the first-round proper, on Saturday.

Colchester are enjoying their best run of results of the season, having won four, drawn two and lost only one of their last seven league fixtures.

The run has lifted the U’s to within five points of the play-off places, with 16 games gone.

They now switch to cup action and head coach McGreal wants his squad to continue their momentum.

McGreal said: “We’ve accumulated 14 points from our last seven games, which is excellent – we just have to maintain it.

“We’re a third of the way through the season and we’ve just started to hit the points total that we’re looking for.

“At times, when you look at the performances they can be disjointed because you’re changing week after week.

“But you can’t take away the determination, resilience, work-rate and the effort.

“Now we’re having a good week’s training, as we build up to the FA Cup.

“It’s a tradition that we’ve all grown up with as players and now as managers and we’re really looking forward to it.

“We’ve already had Oxford City watched so we’re putting in a good week’s prep as we know it’s going to be a tough game, as anything can happen in the FA Cup.”

McGreal could opt to make changes for the Oxford City clash, something he has become used to in the wake of continuing injury problems.

Colchester have benefited from several loan players to boost their squad this season and the U’s head coach is pleased with the impact they have made.

“I think the loans have worked well for us,” he said.

“I know there’s a couple of boys sitting on the bench for us but that’s because the two lads up front are performing ever so well.

“If you look at Ryan Inniss, Kyel Reid, Brandon Comley and Brandon Hanlan, they’re performing to the max at this moment in time.

“When injuries happen, you obviously have to change it and that does seem to be happening game after game.

“It would be nice to have a settled team but I think the squad has worked really well for us.”