JOHN McGreal admits the psyche of his Colchester United squad will be put to the test after their long unbeaten run came to an end.

The U’s dropped to sixth in the League Two table following their 2-1 loss at Cambridge United, last weekend.

Colchester lie five points off the automatic promotion places, after they lost for the first time in 17 league matches and host third-placed Plymouth Argyle, this weekend.

U’s head coach McGreal said: “This is the test now of the psyche of the group after a reverse like this.

“Now is the test this week, against a strong Plymouth team.

“We just have to be careful that we don’t get too overly frustrated as a collective, because the boys have been on an unbelievable run to get ourselves into this healthy position.

“We’re going to have reverses and it’s now how we react to that reverse – the best way to do it is to come in and train to the best you can because we have another 15 games to go.

“The boys will be feeling sore from it, there’s no question but we’ve still got a third of the season to go and go again.

“We can’t just let one game interfere with what we’ve been doing of late and we’re in a healthy position.

“We have to start another unbeaten run now, no better than against a strong Plymouth team.”

Colchester produced a below-par performance in losing at Cambridge, despite having taken the lead through leading scorer Luke Norris.

Two goals in the space of less than two minutes from substitutes Andy Dallas and Harvey Knibbs won it for the hosts, on a disappointing day for the U’s.

Colchester now face back-to-back home games at the JobServe Community Stadium, where they will be looking to get back to winning ways.

“We’ll dust ourselves down but we have to improve our quality,” said McGreal.

“We’re looking to improve and we’re trying to be a progressive club.

“We’ve put ourselves in a healthy position by doing certain things and having certain standards and I thought we went away from that.

“The quality wasn’t there but we’ll be looking at the stats to improve that.

“The individuals have to improve that as well, because some of them fell short of the levels that they’ve set themselves this season.”