COLCHESTER United legend Kem Izzet has hailed the "strong mentality" within the U's set-up after stretching their proud unbeaten run to 16 League Two matches.

John McGreal's side are riding on the crest of a wave following Tuesday's dramatic 3-1 victory against leaders Swindon Town.

They are fifth in the table, on the cusp on the automatic promotion places, and, amazingly, have not suffered defeat since October.

Former skipper Izzet is watching on with huge admiration and backing his old club to maintain their scintillating form.

"To go on such a long unbeaten run is a special achievement," said the 39-year-old, who made more than 400 appearances for the U's.

"I know there have been a few draws in there but it still takes some doing.

"There's obviously a strong mentality within the group.

"They're playing with confidence and that was evident from the way they came from behind to beat Swindon.

"When you're on a run like that, you go into every match believing you're going to get something and not going to lose.

"You develop good habits and do things you might not necessarily do when things aren't going so well.

"They've got themselves into a fantastic position and, as a club and team, they're in a great place.

"You would imagine there will be a blip at some point - that's football - but as long as they stay within touching distance of the automatic promotion places they'll have every chance."

Izzet believes McGreal's squad has the "right blend", with players at differing stages of their careers sharing the spotlight.

"Fair play to everyone involved and credit to John, too," he said.

"He's assembled a very decent squad and one that's only going to get better.

"He's got the right blend of youth and experience and I genuinely hope they go on to get promotion.

"It would give the whole town and area a lift."

While Colchester were beating Swindon on Tuesday, Izzet was celebrating another impressive victory as his Brightlingsea Regent side defeated Bishop's Stortford 1-0 in the BetVictor Isthmian League.

"It's one defeat in five now," said the former midfield general, who took over as R's manager last October.

"We've found a level of consistency and that's been down to sheer hard work.

"There's a togetherness among the boys and everyone understands their roles.

"Training has been more physical. They're running more, tackling harder, making more blocks and playing balls into the right areas.

"There's a willingness to graft and because the players are being rewarded for it, they're happy to do it more and more.

"As a group, we always knew we were capable of staying up.

"Now we're getting results and others outside of our bubble are starting to believe, too.

"People have more heart and belief but the proof will be in the pudding.

"We're not getting ahead of ourselves and need to keep putting in the same levels of work and effort."