Jon Waldron: My views on the U's

Essex County Standard: Looking for some cheer - Jabo Ibehre and his Colchester United team-mates are on the lookout for points tonight. Picture: SEANA HUGHES (CO90349-25) Looking for some cheer - Jabo Ibehre and his Colchester United team-mates are on the lookout for points tonight. Picture: SEANA HUGHES (CO90349-25)

Are you one of the doom and gloom mongers that Joe Dunne referred to in the aftermath of Colchester United’s home defeat against Preston North End?

If so, you’re probably of the mindset that the U’s are now in a relegation struggle, somewhat harsh given their recent encouraging performances and taking into account their games in hand.

Yet it’s barely a month since Colchester recorded an emphatic win at Carlisle United to move into the top half of the League One table.

All of the talk then was quite rightly of achieving at least a top-ten finish and the victory at Brunton Park had made it seven points out of a possible nine.

It also extended their advantage over tonight's opponents, Sheffield United, to eight points.

At that stage, the U’s were building up the kind of momentum that lifts you rapidly up the league table.

Fast forward only a few weeks though and the U’s amazingly find themselves level pegging with the Blades and just three points above the bottom four.

While Nigel Clough’s side have admittedly built up a head of steam, the U’s charge up the table has, in contrast, been dampened by the wet weather.

It’s something of an understatement that a spate of recent postponements has hampered Colchester.

But in the games they have played since their last win, it’s not as if they have grossly underperformed and they were unlucky to lose against Preston.

If Colchester continue to produce displays of a similar quality between now and the end of the season, then they shouldn’t go too far wrong.

They still have plenty of games in hand over all but one of the eight teams below them in the table and most of them are at home.

How beneficial it would be to their chances though if they were to beat Sheffield United tonight and give themselves a big lift, ahead of tough back-to-back games against sides currently in the top five.

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