Jon Waldron: My views on the U's

Crowded out - Jabo Ibehre, pictured here during Colchester United's defeat at Leyton Orient last weekend, will be looking to add to his goal tally against Rotherham United tonight. Picture: WARREN PAGE

Crowded out - Jabo Ibehre, pictured here during Colchester United's defeat at Leyton Orient last weekend, will be looking to add to his goal tally against Rotherham United tonight. Picture: WARREN PAGE

First published in Sport
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Scott McGleish was in the stands at Brisbane Road at the weekend to watch two of his former clubs play out a thriller.

How Colchester United’s present-day side could currently do with their former marksman in his prime.

There was little wrong with the U’s eye-catching approach play in their 2-1 defeat at joint league leaders Leyton Orient.

Indeed, for the second successive Saturday, an impressive performance deserved much more than it actually produced.

Just ask the 800 or so Colchester supporters who made the short trip down the A12 to cheer on their team.

But a return of just two goals in their last five games is undoubtedly a worry.

And while Joe Dunne may well be right in saying that the U’s currently league position is false, the fact that only four sides in League One have scored fewer goals than Colchester this season is probably one of the main reasons why only goal difference is keeping them out of the relegation zone, albeit with games in hand.

It’s a shame that U’s recent profligacy in front of goal is currently threatening to undermine what has been a productive season, certainly one that has seen improvement made on the previous campaign.

Of course, it has not helped that despite generally defending well, the U’s have conceded late goals in suffering three successive defeats.

But another recurring theme has been the slender margin of those losses, against three of the division’s form teams.

Colchester have been beaten by joint leaders Leyton Orient, fourth-placed Preston North End and the division’s form team Sheffield United, who have won eight on the bounce.

In truth, the fact that all of those defeats have each been by just one goal suggests that the U’s are not a million miles away from being a successful side.

It also offers evidence that their shortage of goals is being clinically punished by their recent opponents, who have taken their chances with far more regularity.

Colchester face yet another severe test tonight against free-scoring Rotherham United, who are fifth in the table and trounced poor Notts County 6-0, last weekend.

But while it might be something of a cliché, it is important that the U’s remain positive.

Sanchez Watt’s return from suspension is a big boost and they must continue to take heart in the good things they have produced, of which there were many at Brisbane Road.

The key now though is for the U’s to turn all of their productivity into goals, for it would be a huge pity given the progress they have made since last season if they were to find themselves embroiled in another relegation battle.

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