DANNY Cowley is battling to lift his Colchester United side away from League Two danger.

And the U’s head coach has highlighted one specific moment in his side’s midweek game at Salford City that left him buoyed and confident that they will pull away from trouble.

Colchester’s game at Moor Lane was delicately balanced at 1-1 heading into the closing stages when Salford suddenly broke away on a rapid counter attack, after a failed U’s set piece.

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Cowley said: “You might remember the corner that Arthur (Read) took in the second half?

“The corner was like a bunker and Arthur slipped and the ball hasn’t quite gone to where we would like it to go.

“Their first man cuts it out and they go on the counter attack but if you watch the clip, you’ll see firstly MJ (Matt Jay) sprint back, then you see Tom Hopper, a number nine whose position was in front of the goalkeeper, sprint back to our penalty area to prevent them scoring on the counter.

“Ellis Iandolo ends up tidying it up and we ended up showing the players that clip.

“It showed the mentality and my feeling was after watching this clip was that we’re going to be alright, we’re going to be just fine because that kind of work ethic, that willingness to put the team before yourself, when your centre forward shows that type of attitude and team ethic, I think it bodes really well.”


Colchester have lost only one of their first eight matches since Cowley’s appointment, at the start of January.

The U’s have drawn their last three matches and sit five points above the relegation zone with 12 games remaining, heading into tomorrow’s home clash with promotion-chasing Stockport County.

“We’re building our resilience and our grit, by the day,” said Cowley.

“I think that showed at Salford – we didn’t deserve to be 1-0 down at half-time and lesser teams away from home on a Tuesday night at Salford would go under but we didn’t.

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“The finishers came on and had a big impact and we were able to find the equaliser.

“I think when we did find the equaliser, we looked like the most likely team to win.

“We can be pleased with parts of every performance but we just have to keep trying to find more consistency, in game, play for longer and probably try to avoid the silly mistakes which have cost us really.

“In the eight games that I’ve managed here, we feel like we’ve been punished for every mistake we make.


“Sometimes, in League Two you can make a mistake and get away with it – we haven’t up to this point but it’s not for us to feel sorry for ourselves.

“It’s up to us to keep trying to avoid making the mistakes, at both ends by the way.

“There have been games where we could have been more clinical.

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“Take the Harrogate game, for example – we made a mistake in the 90th minute to concede a goal but the back of the team will say to the front of the team that we could have been two or three up, if we’d been a little bit more ruthless.

“We know that if we keep working on our process and consistency, then we’ll take the performance to a point where a mistake won’t affect the outcome of the game.”