HARRY Pell has called on his Colchester United team-mates to 'roll their sleeves up' when they head to play Salford City tomorrow.

The U's travel to the Peninsula Stadium looking for points to draw nearer the play-off places, after a five-game run without a League Two win.

Midfielder Pell is hoping to be a part of the squad for the game, having recovered from a knee injury - and the U's skipper admits it is an important match for both sides.

Pell said: "It's a massive game for us but at the same time, I know it's a massive game for Salford as well.

"They're a good team, a very expansive team and they've got some great individual players.

"But we'll go and try and put our mark on the game and I think we need the win as much as they do.

"The two games we played against them last season proved that you can't play against Salford and not turn up and then expect to get anything from the game,

"In both of those games, we were very committed.

"I remember (Kwame) Poku running riot at their place and we will need individual players like that to step up their game and be as committed as possible for the badge.

"But most importantly, I would take going there, being resolute and not being great and winning.

"We need to go there and roll our sleeves up and put in a really solid performance.

"I'm just hoping that I can play some part in it."

Pell's last game for Colchester was back in November, when they were beaten heavily at Exeter City.

The 29-year-old is now hoping to make up for lost time for the U's and help them get back on track.

"It's been a little frustrating," admitted Pell.

"I think I'm a little ahead of schedule with the recovery.

"I try and get back as quickly as I can and the games are coming thick and fast.

"I'm not sure whether the weekend will be too quick - I guess that's down to the boss.

"It would probably be easier if we were flying at the moment.

"We haven't been going through a great patch, which is a little bit disappointing.

"I'm not making excuses - there's a lot going on at the moment on and off the pitch.

"Some things can be helped and some things can't be.

"We started great and we've recently come in for a bit of stick - and I think rightly so.

"We're a club that wants to be at the top end of the table - we don't want to be sitting in mid-table, that's most definite.

"People can tell whether players are playing well or are putting in the required effort.

"If they're not doing that, I think the fans have the right to put a bit of pressure on the boys."

Colchester are eager to get back to action, after their game against Tranmere Rovers last weekend was postponed due to Covid issues in both camps.

The U's players and staff underwent mandatory testing on Monday and got the green light and Pell says the club have left no stone unturned in keeping their stadium and training ground safe.

Pell added: "The club have done everything that they can.

"Last week, the chairman held a Zoom meeting about the players' safety.

"We all have our different situations.

"Some of our lads still live with their parents they're going home to, some of us have young children.

"The club have been absolutely first class with that and there's now twice weekly testing, which makes you feel very safe.

"We're sticking to the protocols and hopefully, the games can go ahead.

"It's quite easy for us players to switch off here, because it is really safe.

"We have to put a lot of trust in the staff and our team-mates to do the right things away from the place."