U's trip to Meadow Lane is not "do or die"

Gazette: Determined - Colchester boss Joe Dunne knows all of his side's games are important between now and the end of the season. Picture: STEVE BRADING (CO89565-123) Determined - Colchester boss Joe Dunne knows all of his side's games are important between now and the end of the season. Picture: STEVE BRADING (CO89565-123)

Joe Dunne insists Colchester United’s crucial game at struggling Notts County tomorrow is not a “do-or-die situation”.

But the U’s boss acknowledges that his side’s trip to Meadow Lane is an important fixture, in their quest to stay in League One.

Colchester lie four points above the relegation zone with eight games remaining and are six points clear of the Magpies in the table.

Dunne said: “We’ll go there in determined mood but to isolate one game now I think would still be premature.

“There’s still plenty of points to play for and you have to play every game as it comes."

For more on this story and a three-page preview of Colchester United's game at Notts County this weekend, see Friday's Daily Gazette.

Comments (14)

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7:22am Fri 28 Mar 14

angryman!!! says...

The ball is in our court if we win it looks unlikely we will get relegated if we lose then we are certainly looking over our shoulders. It very much depends in the attitudes of the players, so many games this season we've seen then turn up for half a game and not for the other half.
The ball is in our court if we win it looks unlikely we will get relegated if we lose then we are certainly looking over our shoulders. It very much depends in the attitudes of the players, so many games this season we've seen then turn up for half a game and not for the other half. angryman!!!
  • Score: 17

9:53am Fri 28 Mar 14

Bampotonian says...

For sure if we don't treat this match as not do or die then we will lose!! Notts County will certainly turn up for it (as in the reverse fixture) so every game must be a must-win until we are safe for sure. No repeats of last season please!!
For sure if we don't treat this match as not do or die then we will lose!! Notts County will certainly turn up for it (as in the reverse fixture) so every game must be a must-win until we are safe for sure. No repeats of last season please!! Bampotonian
  • Score: 15

12:22pm Fri 28 Mar 14

We're not singing anymore!!! says...

That's right Joe, it's not do or die. It’s just another game, no reason whatsoever to expect the players to be up for it. Good motivation for a big game like this.

Maybe it should be a Sack or Keep Job game instead !!!!!!!
That's right Joe, it's not do or die. It’s just another game, no reason whatsoever to expect the players to be up for it. Good motivation for a big game like this. Maybe it should be a Sack or Keep Job game instead !!!!!!! We're not singing anymore!!!
  • Score: 12

12:27pm Fri 28 Mar 14

totallyfootball says...

We're not singing anymore!!! wrote:
That's right Joe, it's not do or die. It’s just another game, no reason whatsoever to expect the players to be up for it. Good motivation for a big game like this.

Maybe it should be a Sack or Keep Job game instead !!!!!!!
Imagine that, not while he and Cowling are cosy!
[quote][p][bold]We're not singing anymore!!![/bold] wrote: That's right Joe, it's not do or die. It’s just another game, no reason whatsoever to expect the players to be up for it. Good motivation for a big game like this. Maybe it should be a Sack or Keep Job game instead !!!!!!![/p][/quote]Imagine that, not while he and Cowling are cosy! totallyfootball
  • Score: 17

3:55pm Fri 28 Mar 14

Noah4x4 says...

I don’t see what Joe Dunne’s factual and reassuring comments have to do with player attitude. They won’t want to lose any more than we (and I guess they get "win bonuses"?). However; the gap isn’t four points; it is currently six…..

Although we are merely four (table) points ahead of Tranmere and Carlisle (20th & 21st); our superior goal difference means that it effectively requires five points for them to overtake us. But it is impossible to gain five points from any two games (e.g. one can only gain 1, 3, 4 or 6 points from any two fixtures). That means they currently need two ‘wins’ from a minimum of two games (and we then lose two); or it consume three (or more) of their limited available games and we lose the same three (or more). This mathematical oddity is very useful at this late stage of the season if you already have the points in the bag when others are fast running out of games in which to catch up.

Then; because of our superior goal difference ; others below us (except perhaps Oldham) will need to secure an extra point; unless the bottom six start banging in an average of four goals per game and we score zilch. Hence if the U’s need the usual 51 points total for certain safety; those below us will require 52 points.

This means (as at today) the U’s (at worst) should need just 7 points from 8 games; but Oldham (same current points) will need 8 points unless they overcome their five goal deficit; Crewe need 12 points; Tranmere/Carlisle 13; Shrewsbury 14; Notts County/Stevenage 15; and we also have a game in hand over four of these teams.

Does anybody honestly expect more than ONE (if any?) of the bottom five teams to go on a promotion form equivalent run suffice gain the 13 to 15 points from their remaining seven or eight games that they require to be certain of their safety? Of course; the more times that the U’s (and Oldham etc.) lose during the final run in; the lower will be the ultimate required target for certain safety for those in the bottom six; but our current advantage is huge. We are not just in the driving seat; we are in the home straight.

By contrast the best placed in the bottom five; Carlisle or Tranmere (as at today) need four wins plus a draw from just eight games (e.g. that is if all above them reach 51 points) to be certain of avoiding relegation. Since they play each other on Saturday; that has become a ‘must win’. What makes it doubly difficult for next placed Shrewsbury is that they must play Stevenage; Tranmere and Crewe; and hence one team must DROP 3 points or both drop 2 in each of these fixtures. There are loads of other fixtures NOT involving the U’s that will dramatically shape the bottom four.

My point is that we all need to stop worrying about the gap between us and those below as it is largely immaterial (unless we keep losing) and simply focus on what we need to do to get to the magic 51 point (maximum) winning post. If the U’s can win two and secure a draw (from eight games) we should be certain of safety and after Saturday; it could be that just one win and a couple of draws may be adequate (depending on other results); even if we do LOSE at Meadow Lane. We really do need to get behind the team and manager with maximum positive vocal support.
I don’t see what Joe Dunne’s factual and reassuring comments have to do with player attitude. They won’t want to lose any more than we (and I guess they get "win bonuses"?). However; the gap isn’t four points; it is currently six….. Although we are merely four (table) points ahead of Tranmere and Carlisle (20th & 21st); our superior goal difference means that it effectively requires five points for them to overtake us. But it is impossible to gain five points from any two games (e.g. one can only gain 1, 3, 4 or 6 points from any two fixtures). That means they currently need two ‘wins’ from a minimum of two games (and we then lose two); or it consume three (or more) of their limited available games and we lose the same three (or more). This mathematical oddity is very useful at this late stage of the season if you already have the points in the bag when others are fast running out of games in which to catch up. Then; because of our superior goal difference ; others below us (except perhaps Oldham) will need to secure an extra point; unless the bottom six start banging in an average of four goals per game and we score zilch. Hence if the U’s need the usual 51 points total for certain safety; those below us will require 52 points. This means (as at today) the U’s (at worst) should need just 7 points from 8 games; but Oldham (same current points) will need 8 points unless they overcome their five goal deficit; Crewe need 12 points; Tranmere/Carlisle 13; Shrewsbury 14; Notts County/Stevenage 15; and we also have a game in hand over four of these teams. Does anybody honestly expect more than ONE (if any?) of the bottom five teams to go on a promotion form equivalent run suffice gain the 13 to 15 points from their remaining seven or eight games that they require to be certain of their safety? Of course; the more times that the U’s (and Oldham etc.) lose during the final run in; the lower will be the ultimate required target for certain safety for those in the bottom six; but our current advantage is huge. We are not just in the driving seat; we are in the home straight. By contrast the best placed in the bottom five; Carlisle or Tranmere (as at today) need four wins plus a draw from just eight games (e.g. that is if all above them reach 51 points) to be certain of avoiding relegation. Since they play each other on Saturday; that has become a ‘must win’. What makes it doubly difficult for next placed Shrewsbury is that they must play Stevenage; Tranmere and Crewe; and hence one team must DROP 3 points or both drop 2 in each of these fixtures. There are loads of other fixtures NOT involving the U’s that will dramatically shape the bottom four. My point is that we all need to stop worrying about the gap between us and those below as it is largely immaterial (unless we keep losing) and simply focus on what we need to do to get to the magic 51 point (maximum) winning post. If the U’s can win two and secure a draw (from eight games) we should be certain of safety and after Saturday; it could be that just one win and a couple of draws may be adequate (depending on other results); even if we do LOSE at Meadow Lane. We really do need to get behind the team and manager with maximum positive vocal support. Noah4x4
  • Score: -19

4:22pm Fri 28 Mar 14

United we stand says...

With his continual banal and uninspiring comments, it's little wonder that Joe and so many of the Club's fans are just not on the same page!
And maybe it's at the root of the haphazard and inconsistent performances that have been the hallmark of another frustrating season for us.
Noah4x4 you do make some very good remarks but I think we would all prefer our team to be striving to achieve something rather more than "adequacy", don't you?
With his continual banal and uninspiring comments, it's little wonder that Joe and so many of the Club's fans are just not on the same page! And maybe it's at the root of the haphazard and inconsistent performances that have been the hallmark of another frustrating season for us. Noah4x4 you do make some very good remarks but I think we would all prefer our team to be striving to achieve something rather more than "adequacy", don't you? United we stand
  • Score: 21

5:09pm Fri 28 Mar 14

Noah4x4 says...

United we stand wrote:
With his continual banal and uninspiring comments, it's little wonder that Joe and so many of the Club's fans are just not on the same page!
And maybe it's at the root of the haphazard and inconsistent performances that have been the hallmark of another frustrating season for us.
Noah4x4 you do make some very good remarks but I think we would all prefer our team to be striving to achieve something rather more than "adequacy", don't you?
Agree; we must be striving for more than "adequacy". I can't wait for next season when we can offload the remainder of the John Ward Squad (out of contract) and the youngsters will also be a season older.

But at present we are in a period of transformation; and we are in a dogfight at the bottom. My comments reflect the reality of that. As I have illustrated above; mathematically this is far from a crisis (as yet!). Our priority is staying up; and that often means ugly football. I also feel that somebody has to counter balance the negative posts of those that moan about everything if we are not winning every second game; while they post information that is inaccurate whilst sat 4-4-2 in their armchairs rather than being with the real fans at Meadow Lane. Of course I have sympathy with many of their sentiments; and am equally disappointed with many performances' but we have to accept that there are better teams than us and it's a route to self destruction if the only solution is a change of manager every year. We have had 27 managers in the last 55 years; and where has that got us? At least we are now seeing some encouraging shoots with the youth (even if still short on shots).
[quote][p][bold]United we stand[/bold] wrote: With his continual banal and uninspiring comments, it's little wonder that Joe and so many of the Club's fans are just not on the same page! And maybe it's at the root of the haphazard and inconsistent performances that have been the hallmark of another frustrating season for us. Noah4x4 you do make some very good remarks but I think we would all prefer our team to be striving to achieve something rather more than "adequacy", don't you?[/p][/quote]Agree; we must be striving for more than "adequacy". I can't wait for next season when we can offload the remainder of the John Ward Squad (out of contract) and the youngsters will also be a season older. But at present we are in a period of transformation; and we are in a dogfight at the bottom. My comments reflect the reality of that. As I have illustrated above; mathematically this is far from a crisis (as yet!). Our priority is staying up; and that often means ugly football. I also feel that somebody has to counter balance the negative posts of those that moan about everything if we are not winning every second game; while they post information that is inaccurate whilst sat 4-4-2 in their armchairs rather than being with the real fans at Meadow Lane. Of course I have sympathy with many of their sentiments; and am equally disappointed with many performances' but we have to accept that there are better teams than us and it's a route to self destruction if the only solution is a change of manager every year. We have had 27 managers in the last 55 years; and where has that got us? At least we are now seeing some encouraging shoots with the youth (even if still short on shots). Noah4x4
  • Score: -16

10:08pm Fri 28 Mar 14

GLADSTONE 1 says...

Just start the game the way we have played the last two games in the second half
Just start the game the way we have played the last two games in the second half GLADSTONE 1
  • Score: 7

11:30pm Fri 28 Mar 14

Boris says...

Noah, your arithmetic is impressive in some ways but you place too much empohasis on our superior goal difference. You rightly recognise that we are going to lose a few of our remaining games. All that is needed is a couple of repeats of what Notts County did to us at the WHCS, and suddenly our goal difference is not going to look so impressive.
Like you, I am confident that we shall stay up, but we need at least 2 more wins, plus a few draws. There is no room for complacency. JD's reported remarks suggest complacency, so let's hope he has been misquoted.
Up the U's.
Noah, your arithmetic is impressive in some ways but you place too much empohasis on our superior goal difference. You rightly recognise that we are going to lose a few of our remaining games. All that is needed is a couple of repeats of what Notts County did to us at the WHCS, and suddenly our goal difference is not going to look so impressive. Like you, I am confident that we shall stay up, but we need at least 2 more wins, plus a few draws. There is no room for complacency. JD's reported remarks suggest complacency, so let's hope he has been misquoted. Up the U's. Boris
  • Score: 13

11:54pm Fri 28 Mar 14

We're not singing anymore!!! says...

Noah......Unfortunat
ely stats don't win games. They also don't guarantee survival. Bearing in mind that Joe took the club on it's longest losing streak (a stat you haven't mentioned yet, unless I've missed it in one of your long novels recently) I'm not going to assume we're safe until it's mathematically proven.
Noah......Unfortunat ely stats don't win games. They also don't guarantee survival. Bearing in mind that Joe took the club on it's longest losing streak (a stat you haven't mentioned yet, unless I've missed it in one of your long novels recently) I'm not going to assume we're safe until it's mathematically proven. We're not singing anymore!!!
  • Score: 15

12:28am Sat 29 Mar 14

Boris says...

Nothing to do with the present topic, but I have to say this somewhere. I was sorry to read that John Ward lost his job at Bristol Rovers yesterday. I wish him a happy retirement, if that is what beckons. I make no comment about his abilities as a manager, but I shall always remember when a number of us answered his call for volunteers to clear snow off the pitch, and he was there all the time, shovelling snow and pushing a wheelbarrow with the rest of us. A decent man.
Nothing to do with the present topic, but I have to say this somewhere. I was sorry to read that John Ward lost his job at Bristol Rovers yesterday. I wish him a happy retirement, if that is what beckons. I make no comment about his abilities as a manager, but I shall always remember when a number of us answered his call for volunteers to clear snow off the pitch, and he was there all the time, shovelling snow and pushing a wheelbarrow with the rest of us. A decent man. Boris
  • Score: 6

1:07am Sat 29 Mar 14

Boris says...

Boris wrote:
Nothing to do with the present topic, but I have to say this somewhere. I was sorry to read that John Ward lost his job at Bristol Rovers yesterday. I wish him a happy retirement, if that is what beckons. I make no comment about his abilities as a manager, but I shall always remember when a number of us answered his call for volunteers to clear snow off the pitch, and he was there all the time, shovelling snow and pushing a wheelbarrow with the rest of us. A decent man.
Sorry, on re-reading the story, I see he has not been sacked, he has been appointed director of football. Sounds amicable enough but he appears to be on the way out. Whatever, I wish him well.
[quote][p][bold]Boris[/bold] wrote: Nothing to do with the present topic, but I have to say this somewhere. I was sorry to read that John Ward lost his job at Bristol Rovers yesterday. I wish him a happy retirement, if that is what beckons. I make no comment about his abilities as a manager, but I shall always remember when a number of us answered his call for volunteers to clear snow off the pitch, and he was there all the time, shovelling snow and pushing a wheelbarrow with the rest of us. A decent man.[/p][/quote]Sorry, on re-reading the story, I see he has not been sacked, he has been appointed director of football. Sounds amicable enough but he appears to be on the way out. Whatever, I wish him well. Boris
  • Score: 3

9:23am Sat 29 Mar 14

Noah4x4 says...

John Ward is a legend at Bristol Rovers having managed them twice; so no surprise that he has been retained in another role after his ‘retirement’from his primary role (e.g. like Doogie here). But apart from at Colchester United; his managerial record is pretty decent. Below are his career 'win' rates elsewhere...

York 31.43% from 70 games
Bristol Rovers 41.94% from 155
Bristol City 45.24% from 84
Wolves 75% from 4
Cheltenham 36.71% from 207
Carlisle 41.94% from 62
Bristol Rovers 34.78% from 69.

What strikes me is that except at Cheltenham and his first spell at Bristol Rovers; John never completed two full seasons. Either he was cunning with his ability to acquire lucrative contracts (and get 'pay offs') or useless; but the latter is not borne out by his 'win' data.

Frankly, I didn’t like his style of football and whilst NOT disputing that his dismissal at WHCS was the correct decision; it does strike me that at his OTHER club positions it’s perhaps a classic example of how the “Boo Boys” have always won despite the manager’s club career record being pretty respectable.

I find its staggering that West Ham fans boo'ed Big Sam after a win; and Micky Adams; Karl Robinson and now even Russell Slade have suffered after achieving decent success at their clubs. David Moyes is now subject to a backlash; and yet most other fans envy Uniteds position. I don't dispute that if you pay your money one is entitled to show displeasure; but it's all getting to ridiculous proportions. If it happened in any other workplace the Tribunals would be full.

Phil Parkinson had 141 games prior to our promotion season and in his penultimate season we ended in 15th place. No doubt the ‘Boo Boys’ were calling for his head too. In the previous season the U’s were 11th and prior to that 12th. Thankfully; he wasn’t discarded and our promotion success came the following year after 187 games in charge. At WHCS we have now had SIX managers in as many seasons over a period where our league position pattern has been fairly similar (a series of upper and mid table seasons followed by a slump). We have had 27 managers in 55 years. I reckon we need to be more patient; and give Joe Dunne the time he needs to complete the transformation. He has had barely more than a third of the games that Parky had to develop a successful squad.
John Ward is a legend at Bristol Rovers having managed them twice; so no surprise that he has been retained in another role after his ‘retirement’from his primary role (e.g. like Doogie here). But apart from at Colchester United; his managerial record is pretty decent. Below are his career 'win' rates elsewhere... York 31.43% from 70 games Bristol Rovers 41.94% from 155 Bristol City 45.24% from 84 Wolves 75% from 4 Cheltenham 36.71% from 207 Carlisle 41.94% from 62 Bristol Rovers 34.78% from 69. What strikes me is that except at Cheltenham and his first spell at Bristol Rovers; John never completed two full seasons. Either he was cunning with his ability to acquire lucrative contracts (and get 'pay offs') or useless; but the latter is not borne out by his 'win' data. Frankly, I didn’t like his style of football and whilst NOT disputing that his dismissal at WHCS was the correct decision; it does strike me that at his OTHER club positions it’s perhaps a classic example of how the “Boo Boys” have always won despite the manager’s club career record being pretty respectable. I find its staggering that West Ham fans boo'ed Big Sam after a win; and Micky Adams; Karl Robinson and now even Russell Slade have suffered after achieving decent success at their clubs. David Moyes is now subject to a backlash; and yet most other fans envy Uniteds position. I don't dispute that if you pay your money one is entitled to show displeasure; but it's all getting to ridiculous proportions. If it happened in any other workplace the Tribunals would be full. Phil Parkinson had 141 games prior to our promotion season and in his penultimate season we ended in 15th place. No doubt the ‘Boo Boys’ were calling for his head too. In the previous season the U’s were 11th and prior to that 12th. Thankfully; he wasn’t discarded and our promotion success came the following year after 187 games in charge. At WHCS we have now had SIX managers in as many seasons over a period where our league position pattern has been fairly similar (a series of upper and mid table seasons followed by a slump). We have had 27 managers in 55 years. I reckon we need to be more patient; and give Joe Dunne the time he needs to complete the transformation. He has had barely more than a third of the games that Parky had to develop a successful squad. Noah4x4
  • Score: -15

1:33pm Sat 29 Mar 14

BlueandWhiteBaz says...

Another classic motivational comment from Joe Dunne, I don't think. No wonder the team fails to turn up in about one game in four..
Another classic motivational comment from Joe Dunne, I don't think. No wonder the team fails to turn up in about one game in four.. BlueandWhiteBaz
  • Score: 13

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