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U's players are not shirking the challenge, insists Ward
Colchester United ’s players have risen to the challenge in training this week, according to boss John Ward.
The U’s manager is looking for a reaction from his players when they host Crawley Town tonight, following three successive defeats.
Colchester head into the game bottom of League One after picking up three points from their opening six matches.
But Ward he has been pleased with the attitude of his squad, ahead of tonight’s game at the Weston Homes Community Stadium .
He said: “When you’re having a tough time, it’s easy for a player to step out of the limelight.
“But none of mine have done that and they’re fine.
“In adversity, their collective spirit is shining through pretty strongly and that’s really pleasing.
“They’ve stayed with me and they’re certainly not feeling sorry for themselves.
“Footballers are tough creatures and they go about their business and do their work.
“Despite the result, the performance was decent against Doncaster and we need to maintain the same attitude and approach.
“We made mistakes but it’s no good concentrating on those alone.
“We’ve also played a lot of decent football this season and it’s a matter of keeping it in perspective.
“We had a fair few attempts on goal and we have to keep doing that.”
Ward confirmed that he has spoken to both Clinton Morrison and Matt Heath about their omission from the starting line-up in the last two matches.
Both players have had to be content with a place on the bench of late, having previously started Colchester’s opening four games of the campaign.
“Clinton and I have had a conversation," said Ward, who is expected to recall midfielder Anthony Wordsworth to the starting line-up for tonight's game.
“He wants to know what I want off him, so that he can be back in the team.
“It’s the same with Matt Heath and I’m fine with that.
“That’s the good thing about this group of players.”
Meanwhile, Ward has plenty of respect for the U’s opponents Crawley, following their encouraging start to life in the third tier.
The Reds lie fourth in the table ahead of the game, after winning four of their opening six matches under Richie Barker.
“Crawley have been fantastic so far,” said the Colchester manager.
“They will have no fear coming to us and I’m sure they’ll feel that it’s the right time to be playing us.
“They will feel that it’s a good chance for them to get another win.
“You often see in football teams who come up carry on that momentum the following season.
“The question mark sometimes is whether or not they can continue that after the 20-25-game mark.
“Stepping up a level is tough but at the moment, they’re doing very well.”
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