COLCHESTER United head coach John McGreal is backing his players to show their resilience and bounce back from Saturday’s defeat at Crewe Alexandra.

The U’s produced a poor performance and lost 1-0, in the League Two contest at Gresty Road.

It was their first defeat since a 3-1 reverse at Wycome Wanderers on January 13 and left them 11th in the table, although still only three points behind seventh-placed Lincoln City.

“We can’t undo all the hard work and hard graft we’ve been putting in of late and we’ll go again,” said McGreal, who now switches his attention to next weekend’s home date with Barnet.

“They’re a group that tends to bounce back – we might be pulling and pushing them into areas they don’t want to go but we have objectives and challenges that we want to meet.

“It’s something that’s been a real part of our success of late so it’s back to the drawing board a little bit and see what the week brings.

“It’s only three points lost with a dozen games to play and a lot of points to play for.”

McGreal felt his side’s lack of attacking threat - one of their main strengths in recent weeks - was one of the main disappointments at Crewe.

“It’s not so much what they did but more about our own downfall,” said the U’s boss.

“They’re scrapping for their lives and that wasn’t the free-flowing football we’re used to from them.

“They got the goal and sat on it and we’d have done exactly the same, in their situation.

“We didn’t have any threat where of late we’ve had it all over the pitch and that was disappointing.

“The goal threat we’ve had of late wasn’t there from the three boys up top (at Crewe).

“The second half was one of the worst we had but we move on.”

McGreal praised his club’s travelling fans, who backed their side throughout.

“I must give credit to the fans – 200 fans turned up (at Crewe) which is fantastic,” he said.

“They gave us their vocal support all the way through and the away supporters have been excellent from day one.

“We haven’t put in a performance for them but maybe we can do that next time.”