COLCHESTER United boss Danny Cowley is hoping to enjoy a ‘special’ Easter weekend, writes LEE POWER.

U’s play host to Newport County tomorrow afternoon, before making the trip to Tranmere Rovers on Monday.

And they go into Good Friday’s action sitting just one point above the bottom two, but with games in hand on Sutton United and Forest Green Rovers.

Cowley confirmed 24 players took part in training on Thursday and says that bodes well for the final weeks of the season.

“It’s certainly the strongest the squad has looked since I’ve been here,” he said.

“I’d imagine the strongest we’ve had this season and that bodes well.

“We love Easter weekend, the Good Friday game and Easter Monday game. I’ve had some really special Easter weekends in my career and we have the opportunity to make this another special one.


“We’ve got nine games in 29 days. They’re going to come thick and fast. I said to the group, the boys that are 12 to 24 are more important than the ones that are 1 to 11.

“We’re going to need everybody and they have to stay really focused, really connected with the group, they have to feel valued from everybody at the club, because we will need them.

“This is not going to be an 11-man job. This is going to need everybody and you may have to train through April really diligently, in a really conscientious way.

“It might not be until the 27th - our final game - that you’re needed. But when you are called upon, make sure you’re ready to bring your A game because this is our lives we’re fighting for.”

Newport arrive in North Essex just four points off the play-off places, after a remarkable turnaround under Graham Coughlan.


And Cowley knows what to expect from the Exiles, but feels U’s can take heart from their own performance against leaders Mansfield Town last weekend.

“A really competitive team, that fights for everything. A team that has goals in them, goals from midfield,” he added.

“They’ve unearthed one in [Will] Evans, the forward they signed from the Welsh League [Bala Town], who has 20 goals in the league already this season. They’re a team that are very aggressive, play on the front foot with intensity.


“Graham is a guy Nicky and I know well having done our Pro Licence with Graham and Joe Dunne his assistant, who everybody at the club will know well, a good football man. We understand the opponent is a tough one, but the focus and energy has been on our performance.

“We took a lot of confidence from the Mansfield game. We said we don’t want to be called nice, I don’t think we were.

“There’s a real determination to keep trying to play with intensity, energy and enthusiasm, being as competitive as we have been. We know if we keep doing that the wins will come.”