COLCHESTER United are hoping to sign a new full-back on loan to boost their defensive options.

The U’s are keen to add competition for places in that area, with Cohen Bramall currently sidelined with an ankle injury and with Brendan Wiredu having now returned to Charlton Athletic following the end of his loan spell.

Colchester boss John McGreal says bringing in a new player at full-back is not essential.

However, he believes a new defensive signing would bolster their options, ahead of a gruelling run of five games in the space of 14 days in League Two.

McGreal said: “We’re looking to try and bring a player in to help us in that full-back area until the end of the season.

“We’ve mentioned a couple of names and we’ve left it with Tony (Humes) and Robbie (Cowling) to try and sort out the finances.

“We know what we’ve got to play with and what type of club we are.

“If one comes in, it would be a help but if it doesn’t, we go with what we’ve got.

“We’ve been looking prior to this week and it’s been on the radar – it’s just that one hasn’t fallen into bed at the moment.

“We’ve lost Brendan (Wiredu) who can double up as both a full-back and a midfielder and we’re assessing Cohen’s (Bramall) ankle injury on a weekly basis, rather than a day to day.

“Cohen does look like he might only be a couple more weeks, which is good.

“But it’s having that extra body that we might need with five games in a short space of time.

“It’s probably those full-back areas where we feel that we need that little bit of cover.

“We’ve addressed it with recruitment and we’re just waiting to see what happens.

“There’s a couple of names and we know what we’ve got to work with and we know what budget we’ve got that for that position.

“If it comes into place then great; if not, then we feel as though we’ve got one or two players who can fill a void as such and hopefully Cohen can get himself back, sooner rather than later.”

Colchester will be without Ryan Jackson for their game against Macclesfield this week due to suspension.

However, boss McGreal says he will not be recalling Cameron James from his loan spell at Welling United.

“We’ve used Cameron as a sweeper, as a three and the other week as makeshift cover at full-back,” added McGreal.

“But Cameron is more of a midfielder and when he was out on loan last year, he played a lot in that position.

“He needs game time which he’s lacked this year and that’s the big part of him going out on loan.

“Whether we change the system or not, we feel as though we’ve got cover in there.”