Jon Waldron: My views on the U's

Tussle - U's skipper Brian Wilson battles for the ball during his side's 2-0 defeat at Notts County, last weekend. Picture: WARREN PAGE

Tussle - U's skipper Brian Wilson battles for the ball during his side's 2-0 defeat at Notts County, last weekend. Picture: WARREN PAGE

First published in Sport by

So Colchester United manager Joe Dunne has now conceded that the club are embroiled in a relegation battle for the second successive season.

But does the fact that the majority of their current squad have experience of battling to avoid the drop have any influence on their chances of staying in League One, this time around?

It’s a question I’ve posed to U’s players and coaches alike over the last couple of weeks and the answer is usually yes.

The general consensus seems to be that having successfully survived last season, Colchester’s players are stronger for the experience.

That could well be true, for the likes of Magnus Okuonghae, Brian Wilson, David Wright and Jabo Ibehre were all regulars for Dunne’s side in a campaign where their destiny was ultimately decided on the final day of the season at Carlisle United.

The aforementioned players have formed the backbone of the team this season, too.

But unlike last year, Colchester have spent almost the entire campaign residing in a position outside of the bottom four.

Whereas last time the U’s were battling to either escape or stay clear of the relegation zone, that has not been the case this season.

But after their 2-0 defeat at Notts County left them three points above the bottom four heading into tomorrow night's trip to play-off chasing Peterborough United, they are now left looking nervously over their shoulders with seven games to go.

Dunne is absolutely right to urge both players and supporters alike to keep believing.

After all, the U’s destiny is still in their own hands.

There are plenty of clubs currently occupying positions below them in the table who would gladly swap, given half the chance.

But Notts County have shown how important momentum can be at this stage of the season, beating the U's to rack up a third successive win and climb out of the danger zone having seemingly looked down and out.

Such a run can galvanise everyone connected with a club, just as a disappointing run of form can have a demoralising effect in equal measure.

Colchester have demonstrated enough attacking intent in their recent performances to show that they are capable of getting results, in their remaining games.

But now is the time more than any other that they put their experiences of last season to good effect.

It's clear they need to turn that potential into results and cut out the individual errors, before it is too late.

Comments (6)

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1:23pm Tue 1 Apr 14

down the line says...

Think its time to stop saying that we are creating chances and sooner or later our luck will turn.
Its quite simple, its all about results and we are just not getting them because we are clearly not good enough.
Time is running out and league 2 is looking more likely than ever.
Think its time to stop saying that we are creating chances and sooner or later our luck will turn. Its quite simple, its all about results and we are just not getting them because we are clearly not good enough. Time is running out and league 2 is looking more likely than ever. down the line
  • Score: 36

3:47pm Tue 1 Apr 14

Ozzie says...

No U's fan wants to see the club plummet down the leagues but at the moment, it is so frustrating to see our beloved club performing way under par. They are more than capable of holding their own in this division but they must demonstrate it and the fact we rely on 'luck' is no longer a sufficient excuse for Mr Dunne to use. We ultimately create our own luck, he more than anyone else should know that, having played for the U's. However, the rot was set in during the early stages of the season when Joe and Mark continually tried to play football out from the back and time and time again we got punished for our sloppy cross-field distribution and negative passing back to the goalkeeper, which is now impacting on us. He cannot use the excuse of having to play more games per week than other clubs as we have caught up and almost have a full-strength squad to pick from. So, therefore where does it all go wrong? I can only hope for at least a draw this evening (dream on!) and that at least we give a good account of ourselves in a competitive game. If not, it is I fear, going to go down to the wire again. Up the U's!
No U's fan wants to see the club plummet down the leagues but at the moment, it is so frustrating to see our beloved club performing way under par. They are more than capable of holding their own in this division but they must demonstrate it and the fact we rely on 'luck' is no longer a sufficient excuse for Mr Dunne to use. We ultimately create our own luck, he more than anyone else should know that, having played for the U's. However, the rot was set in during the early stages of the season when Joe and Mark continually tried to play football out from the back and time and time again we got punished for our sloppy cross-field distribution and negative passing back to the goalkeeper, which is now impacting on us. He cannot use the excuse of having to play more games per week than other clubs as we have caught up and almost have a full-strength squad to pick from. So, therefore where does it all go wrong? I can only hope for at least a draw this evening (dream on!) and that at least we give a good account of ourselves in a competitive game. If not, it is I fear, going to go down to the wire again. Up the U's! Ozzie
  • Score: 29

7:18pm Tue 1 Apr 14

United we stand says...

Without a doubt, it's going down to the wire. Sure there are clubs with less points than us, but not all of them (if any) have a worst form record that Col Utd at present. It's well past the time that we needed to pull ourselves out of the current run of generally pathetic displays (or a decent 30 min spell at the most during a match).
For supporters it feels like an even more miserable season than last. Entertainment value at whcs has been absolutely rock-bottom,
Unfortunately, on this occasion I can see us slipping into the bottom four for the first time at the most crucial time of the whole season - i.e. at the end.
Bad luck? I don't think so!
Continual poor displays, schoolboy defending and ineffective build up/attacking play? Most definately!
Without a doubt, it's going down to the wire. Sure there are clubs with less points than us, but not all of them (if any) have a worst form record that Col Utd at present. It's well past the time that we needed to pull ourselves out of the current run of generally pathetic displays (or a decent 30 min spell at the most during a match). For supporters it feels like an even more miserable season than last. Entertainment value at whcs has been absolutely rock-bottom, Unfortunately, on this occasion I can see us slipping into the bottom four for the first time at the most crucial time of the whole season - i.e. at the end. Bad luck? I don't think so! Continual poor displays, schoolboy defending and ineffective build up/attacking play? Most definately! United we stand
  • Score: 19

10:34pm Tue 1 Apr 14

Noah4x4 says...

Ozzie; the U's didn't even play this evening (the U18's did). So will you be at Peterborough tomorrow getting behind the team?

Stevenage missed an opportunity tonight and in effect DROPPED two points whilst they gained one. They remain four points behind us and that's five allowing for our goal difference. But as you can't get five points from two games; that means two wins from two. With just six games left; their task (and that of Shrewsbury) is increasing fast and so this pattern will probably repeat with at least two others. The U's are needing ever fewer points to keep our status given there are six teams behind us; and all with a minimum 3 point deficit (e.g. which means four with GD), and the U's a game in hand over most. I reckon just four points from our next four games will do (two games at home and three against bottom sides) as others drop must points (given some play each other) and hence will be entering a 'must win' every game phase. Let's be a bit more confident and get behind the team,
Ozzie; the U's didn't even play this evening (the U18's did). So will you be at Peterborough tomorrow getting behind the team? Stevenage missed an opportunity tonight and in effect DROPPED two points whilst they gained one. They remain four points behind us and that's five allowing for our goal difference. But as you can't get five points from two games; that means two wins from two. With just six games left; their task (and that of Shrewsbury) is increasing fast and so this pattern will probably repeat with at least two others. The U's are needing ever fewer points to keep our status given there are six teams behind us; and all with a minimum 3 point deficit (e.g. which means four with GD), and the U's a game in hand over most. I reckon just four points from our next four games will do (two games at home and three against bottom sides) as others drop must points (given some play each other) and hence will be entering a 'must win' every game phase. Let's be a bit more confident and get behind the team, Noah4x4
  • Score: -16

12:34am Wed 2 Apr 14

Medicated Soap says...

Big point for Stevenage against Wolves, they could concievably overtake us when we play them a week on Saturday!
Big point for Stevenage against Wolves, they could concievably overtake us when we play them a week on Saturday! Medicated Soap
  • Score: 31

6:47pm Wed 2 Apr 14

JCC says...

I wish I could get to the game tonight - I'll check in on my laptop as often as I can! I reckon we've got to be safe before the last 2 games, as they are against strong teams. And this is not the season to go down to League 2, as our young team might struggle to got out of a physical division. So up the Us - please!
I wish I could get to the game tonight - I'll check in on my laptop as often as I can! I reckon we've got to be safe before the last 2 games, as they are against strong teams. And this is not the season to go down to League 2, as our young team might struggle to got out of a physical division. So up the Us - please! JCC
  • Score: 10

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