McGreal praises 'resolute' Colchester defence

McGreal was happy with his side's performance

McGreal was happy with his side's performance

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Colchester United boss John McGreal heaped praise on his defenders for their role in securing a 1-1 draw against Blackpool.

Colchester secured a point at Blackpool after leading goalscorer Kurtis Guthrie’s 18th-minute strike cancelled out Jamille Matt’s opener for the hosts scored six minutes earlier.

They came under the cosh for much of the game but stood firm to hold on for a draw.

McGreal said: “We defended resolutely at times, but had several good opportunities to put the game away when we were under the cosh, against the run of play.

“Blackpool had more of the ball, but I thought we had the better chances.

“We defended really well, especially young Frankie (Kent), who really stepped up to the plate in this game.

“We are still in and around it (the play-off race) after this result, and now we have a run of home games to look forward to,” added McGreal.

The U’s ended the match with nine men, due to Tom Eastman’s injury when the three substitutes had already been used, and Sean Murray being sent off in stoppage time for his challenge on Jim McAlister, who has been rushed to hospital with a suspected broken leg.

McGreal revealed Murray, who was playing on his debut for the U's, apologised to his manager after the final whistle.

McGreal added: “Sean came up to me and apologised but it’s football and it’s one of those things when the ball runs away from you and you’re trying to impress.

“In the 15 to 20 minutes that he was on, I thought that he was impressive.

“He was combative, got around the pitch and created opportunities and he’s going to be a huge hit for us.

“I’m sure the fans will love him; he’ll miss games now but it’s an opportunity for someone else.”

MATCH REPORT: Blackpool 1-1 Colchester