DANNY Cowley believes his Colchester United side will be facing League Two's best side this weekend.

But the U's head coach says he is looking forward to seeing his team pit their wits against promotion-chasing Stockport County, at the JobServe Community Stadium.

Both teams need the points for different reasons, with Colchester striving to move away from the relegation zone and the Hatters setting their sights on the title.

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Cowley said: “It’s a great game for us.

“For me, Stockport are the best team in the division.

“I think they’re a very well coached team and a team that can really mix their game up.

“They dominate the ball and they also play quite quickly and quite directly.

“I think they have players who are probably above the level and have a depth to their squad, that allows them to have real competition for places.

“You’ve seen in recent weeks that their team has changed a lot and coming in and out of formations, with back threes and back fours but have a lot of experienced players that can obviously cope with that level of detail and have performed really consistently.


“For us, it’s a great game and a real measure of how far we’ve come.

“I think it’s our toughest game, for a number of reasons.

“We’ve had two tough away games this week already, both on difficult pitches.

“We had a late night on Tuesday (at Salford) but we’re back home.

“We love playing at home and we’re looking forward to playing who I think will be champions of this division."

READ MORE: Danny Cowley focused on U's not rivals in survival battle

Colchester head into the Stockport game on the back of three successive draws and one defeat, in their last eight games.

They are currently five points above the relegation zone, with 12 games remaining.

"If you look at the eight games that we've managed thus far, I think we've won seven of them in the expected goals column," added Cowley.

"I don't think you get any points for that, so I'm not overly interested in that, if I'm honest.

"You always hear about managers talk about expected goals when their team hasn't won.

"For us, we know where we're at and we know that the performances have been pretty consistent.

Gazette: Colchester United

"When we arrived, the team had lost nine of their last ten and they'd already had 17 losses, this season.

"We've been much more competitive with only on loss in eight and conceded ten goals, thus far.

"Eight of them were probably avoidable and six of them were really avoidable - we've only needed to prevent four of those goals and we could be sitting here with a lot more wins but we haven't, although the performances have probably suggested that we were value for some more points.

“We know that if we stay consistent and we stay on method and we keep working, then the points will come.”