Colchester United return to action tonight when they host Lincoln City, who boast one of the best defensive records in League Two.

The U’s are likely to need to demonstrate greater attacking invention against the Imps than they showed against Morecambe, if they are to find a way past their fellow play-off chasers.

John McGreal admitted their goal-less home draw with the Shrimps at the weekend resembled a game of cat and mouse.

“We wanted to commit bodies but how many do we commit - do you want to sit on the 0-0 or try and win games of football?” mused the U’s head coach after his side failed to score for the third time in their last four league and cup fixtures, at the Weston Homes Community Stadium.

McGreal undoubtedly favours the latter but it is a tricky situation for him at present.

Colchester’s current form is undoubtedly impressive; their run of one defeat in nine matches in League Two has been based on a solid defensive platform which has seen them keep five clean sheets in their last eight league games.

Indeed, the 3-5-2 system preferred by McGreal has been very effective on their travels recently and has helped them turn their away form around.

But has it sometimes also been to the detriment of their free-scoring home performances, which formed the bedrock of their challenge last season?

At times against Morecambe, the U’s centre-backs were largely redundant against the visitors’ 4-4-1-1 system and McGreal admits they lacked creativity in the final third; it was only really after the introduction of Drey Wright and Kyel Reid in the final 12 minutes that they posed a consistent attacking threat.

But does he stick or twist? There have been times this season in finely-balanced home games when Colchester have gone for victory, only to lose out to the likes of Wycombe Wanderers and Carlisle United.

Nevertheless, only four teams have hit the net more frequently than the U’s at home so far this season and they are capable of dismantling visiting teams at the Community Stadium, as the likes of Forest Green Rovers, Crawley Town and Crewe Alexandra have found already to their cost.

It is understandable that away sides set themselves up in a defensive manner to combat that threat - and it is up to the U’s to find a way past them.