Colchester United head coach John McGreal admits his side produced a ‘flat performance’ in losing 1-0 to struggling Crewe Alexandra this afternoon.

Shaun Miller’s second-half strike proved the difference between the two sides at Gresty Road, in a match where the U’s struggled to create opportunities throughout.

Colchester remain three points off the play-off places in League Two but boss McGreal conceded it was a poor display from his side.

He said: “It was a disappointing day, both result and performance-wise.

“It was really flat – it was a flat game and they’re scrapping for their lives, we knew that.

“It was looking a 0-0 game and they were flat as well, even though they’re scrapping for their lives.

“We addressed things at half-time but it was one of the worst second-half performances and we didn’t offer anything.

“A shot took a deflection and fell to them. 

“I’ve been on about the subs of late, trying to inject a bit of pace but it didn’t work today.

“We’ll be back in on Monday and go again for a tough game against Barnet.

“You can’t just turn up after a wonderful performance and think that you’re going to win without putting in all of the hard work – that was it for me today.”

Colchester had been unbeaten in five matches prior to the Crewe defeat and boss McGreal said there were no excuses for the disappointing performance and result.

He added: “We’ve done a lot of travelling over the last week but we’ve got a lot of bodies to go again.

“Points are really important at this stage of the season and we’ve set ourselves targets.

“We fell a little bit behind that today but we go again.

“There’s definitely areas to look at to see what the week of training brings before the Barnet game.”