Positive approach pays off for Colchester boss John McGreal after win at Palace

McGreal did not want the U’s to be sitting ducks at Selhurst Park.

By Press Association Published: 28 August 2019 - 12.04pm

Colchester boss John McGreal reaped the rewards of sending his side out to attack Crystal Palace in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday, having seen the Eagles win at Manchester United three days earlier.

The U’s reached round three for the first time in 15 years with a 5-4 penalty shoot-out win at Selhurst Park after holding their top-flight hosts to a goalless draw.

Andros Townsend missed the opening kick before Colchester successfully converted all five of their penalties, with the Sky Bet League Two side progressing as a result.

The surprise came hot on the heels of Palace springing their own shock at the weekend when they won at Old Trafford for the first time in the Premier League.

McGreal watched that display but was still keen to square up to Palace – 75 places above his side in the football pyramid – rather than try to sit back and defend.

“We watched how Palace played,” he said. “They had a tremendous result at the weekend. My mindset was to come and have a go, not be a sitting duck.

“We didn’t want on the back of that result to just sit there – we wanted to play our stuff as well.”

Palace academy product Sam Woods was one of the 10 changes made from the weekend win.

It was the defender’s first senior start and he agreed with the assessment of manager Roy Hodgson that the hosts were not up to scratch.

“Very disappointed. The changing room was very quiet at the end,” he told the club’s website.

“The gaffer said it’s not good enough, and it shouldn’t have even gone to penalties. We should’ve got the job done in 90 minutes.

“In the first half we didn’t move the ball quick enough. The second half was better but we just didn’t create or take a chance when it came.”