COLCHESTER United play-off hero Paul Abrahams insists there is still time for his former club to launch a late promotion push.

Abrahams was part of the last U’s squad to go up via the play-offs following their glorious Wembley triumph over Torquay United, in 1998.

Colchester found form at just the right time in that division three campaign, with Steve Wignall’s side overcoming their inconsistency to chalk up ten wins from their final 15 league games and finish just a point off the automatic places.

John McGreal’s present-day U’s side currently lie seven points off the top seven in League Two and are likely to need a similar run of form in their final 11 games of the season, if they are to emulate the achievement of Abrahams and co.

However, the former Colchester academy player says that is definitely a possibility – and believes they are more than capable of launching a late promotion bid.

Abrahams told the Daily Gazette: “You have to keep believing – that is first and foremost.

“At this stage of the season, it’s less about the performance and more about finding those wins.

“There’s still time on their hands and you need to find your momentum at the right time.

“It’s starting to come to that crucial point for John and his players and they will know that.

“I’ve been there before – 20 years ago, we were in a similar position, maybe even a bit further off.

“It took us until the third week of March before we went on a bit of a run.

“I think in the space of six games, we had five wins and a draw that spun everything on its head.

“It firmly put us in the play-off positions and we ended up being just one point off the automatic promotion places.

“It gave us a bit of confidence and it was the perfect thing, because you want to go into it on a high."

Colchester head to Mansfield Town on Saturday, looking for a valuable three points to boost their play-off chances.

“Aside from the Luton game, which will be a very difficult match, after this weekend Colchester’s next four games are against teams below them in the table," said Abrahams.

“It’s very important to stay within touching distance over the next five or six games, because the games after that are against the teams above them.

“They’ll be playing teams who are still in there with them and there’s still a huge amount to play for.

“There’s still around a dozen teams going for promotion.

“It’s a tough game at Mansfield this weekend but sometimes, it can take a big win against a high-flying side to give you the platform to go on that run you need.

“Colchester aren’t expected by others to go there and win so I think any kind of win or draw there will be a positive.

“Momentum is key and there’s always a side that finds that little bit of form at the right time, to take into the final weeks of the season.

“And it’s very often that team that goes on to win in the play-offs, compared to those sides who have been in and around it and have perhaps dipped out of the automatic promotion reckoning.”

Abrahams, who made 172 league and cup appearances for Colchester during his two spells at Layer Road, is currently in charge of the U’s under-15 side.

They have caught the eye with their performances this season and travel to play Leicester City tonight, hoping to qualify for the Premier League Floodlit Cup knockout stages.