John McGreal could ring the New Year changes to his Colchester United line-up for their home clash with Cambridge United today – but admits his players are reluctant to lose their place in his side.

The U’s head coach has fielded the same starting line-up in their last four games, in League Two.

But Colchester’s meeting with Cambridge at the Weston Homes Community Stadium (kick-off 3pm) will be their fourth game in the space of nine days and comes just 48 hours after their 0-0 draw at Chesterfield.

McGreal admits it has been a gruelling period for his promotion-chasing team – but revealed no-one wants to drop out of his starting line-up.

McGreal said: “I think we’re going to have to freshen it up, just looking at the way we were at times (at Chesterfield).

“I was contemplating changing it for Chesterfield but I might have to change it for the Cambridge game.

“I know the fans will say that’s what they’re paid for and it is but going through history, we’ve got tons and tons of injuries at our football club.

“It’s one where they (the players) have got to be honest with us.

“It’s two defeats in 16 and the boys don’t want to come out of the team, which is the healthy thing about it.

“It’s a tough shift to have two games in 48 hours, with the amount of running that some of our boys do.

“We do get a lot of injuries as well and we’ll have to sit down and think about how we go about personnel but the boys who are there don’t want to come out.”

Colchester, who lie eighth in the table, head into today’s game against 12th-placed Cambridge looking to extend their unbeaten run to five matches.

Their visitors will travel to Essex in good form, with Shaun Derry’s side having taken seven points from a possible nine in their last three games.

“We know it’s going to be tough,” said McGreal.

“Shaun has definitely got them going in the right direction with their results over the festive period.

“It’s a little bit of a derby and we know it’s hopefully going to be a big crowd to follow up our away support which has been terrific over the last couple of games.

“We’ll try and put in a performance to get the three points.

“We had a great home record in 2017 and we’re hoping if we can to start on the right foot again.”