John McGreal admits his Colchester United players will have to go 'back to the drawing board' after losing to bottom club Barnet today - but refused to dismiss their League Two play-off chances.

The U's lost 1-0 at home to bottom club Barnet to crash to a second straight defeat, leaving themselves seven points off the play-off places with 11 games remaining.

U's boss McGreal, who kept his players in the changing room for 50 minutes after the defeat this afternoon, admits the Bees deserved their win - but still believes a top-seven finish is on.

McGreal said: "There was no dressing it up today - it was a poor performance.

"The crowd made it clear (how they felt) and rightly so, because we didn't put in a performance for them today.

"It's one where it's back to the drawing board on Monday.

"They're a good bunch of lads - over our last two games, we haven't produced what we want to produce especially in terms of points, because even when you perform poorly good teams come away with points.

"We haven't been able to do that over the last two games, because these clubs are fighting for their lives.

"We're fighting to get into the play-offs - it looks a bit distant looking at what has happened today but there were some freaky results today.

"It's a setback because we've lost two games of football but we've put ourselves in an unbelievable position and we've still got an opportunity."

Alex Nicholls' goal midway through the second half proved the difference between the two sides at a bitterly cold Weston Homes Community Stadium.

Colchester had sent on winger Brennan Dickenson at half-time for defender Tom Eastman and switched to a more attacking formation but created very little in the second half.

“I’m thoroughly disappointed," added McGreal.

“From minute one, we tried to set a bit of a tempo and it didn’t work.

“You have to give Barnet a bit of credit for what they did against us but it was a poor performance.

“It was nip and tuck and the pitch wasn’t the best.

“We just had to try and change tact and we didn’t play the flowing football we played here a couple of weeks ago against Coventry.

“It was a different game and we tried to adapt to it.

“We had a couple of half chances before half-time and we changed the system to try and be positive but it just didn’t work and they got a goal out of nothing.

“They only had a handful of chances but they worked ever so hard and they deserved their win.

“It was a thoroughly disappointing performance, especially in front of our home fans.”