JOHN McGreal says he is hoping his Colchester United squad can return to training at the start of next week.

League Two club owners last week voted to end the 2019-20 season, with play-offs taking place and tables being decided on a points-per-game basis.

That would mean the U's facing Exeter City in a play-off, probably in June, subject to ratification from both the EFL and FA.

Colchester's Florence Park training ground has been closed since March, due to the coronavirus pandemic. And the EFL has informed clubs that a return to training should not take place until May 25, at the earliest.

But Colchester chairman Robbie Cowling has vowed to put everything in place to make it as safe as possible for players, when they do report back to their Tiptree base.

And although it is yet to be confirmed, U's boss McGreal says he will be guided by the governing bodies and is planning for a potential return to training next Monday.

McGreal said: "We're looking to try and get back training on May 25 and then we will see when the play-offs are played, if everything is confirmed.

"There are a lot of opinions in football at the moment, from the Premier League to the National League and the leagues below that.

"Everyone has an opinion and my opinion is to get back to football when it's healthy to do so.

"The health side of things has to be in place and it has to be really safe to play football.

"The Bundesliga have put a lot of processes in place and we can certainly learn from that.

"It's something different that I probably wouldn't normally have been watching, at this time.

"With what's gone on with Covid-19, the German league is the first one really to go back and everyone is intrigued to see how well it all goes.

"Everyone wants the game to come back and I'm certainly no different.

"But it has to be fit and healthy to do so - the health of the players, staff and everyone involved is paramount and we'll be guided by the governing bodies on that.

"As players and coaches, we're guided by Robbie (Cowling).

"He's had a good meeting last week and the discussions have been going on for weeks."

Colchester lie sixth in the table and earned their place in the play-off spots with a 3-0 triumph at Carlisle United in their last competitive match, on March 7.

"It was a hugely important win but it's been a brilliant season for us, so far with the league form and the cup results,"added McGreal.

"In the early part of this season being suspended, I remember watching a few of our games back.

"We looked back at the Cheltenham home game with the offside goal and other things that went against us that day.

"After that game, the boys dusted themselves down, went up to Carlisle and got a great result.

"Who was to know what was going to happen after that?

"Suddenly, it all stopped and this is now where we are."