Colchester United midfielder Harry Pell's weekly Gazette column

Let's embrace our rollercoaster ride

WE’LL experience many highs and lows together throughout the course of the season but I think Colchester have a team to be proud of at the moment.

No-one’s getting carried away but the atmosphere around the training ground is second to none and there’s no better place to be than in a winning changing room.

These kind of things don’t come around very often but everyone has to be on the same page.

It’s a rollercoaster ride and we want everyone to embrace and enjoy it and come the end of the season, we’ll deserve to be where we are in the table.

The next month will be big, because it’s the month leading into January and we’ll be a little over halfway through the season.

We don’t want to get too carried away with ourselves but at the same time, we want to be up there.

We’re trying to pull away from the pack and put some daylight between ourselves and the teams underneath the top seven.

It would be great to secure a play-off place as quickly as possible and go from there.

It was a really good win for us at Forest Green.

When I was at Cheltenham we had a rivalry with them and I’m surprised I didn’t get more stick from their fans!

There was a bit of pressure on us going into the game.

It was our last game of November and we needed three points to be in and around our target for the month.

We have our own targets to hit and with our win, we managed to pick up some valuable points which we’ve consistently done all season.

We have a board up in the changing room that the gaffer put up where we have our own monthly points targets to meet.

The good thing is that we’ve been consistently picking up points and that’s what the teams who are up there do.

I think November was probably our hardest month on paper and we’ve got through it but it’s a long season.

We believe that we deserved to beat Exeter City last Saturday.

Their keeper was outstanding but it wasn’t to be and we quickly drew a line under it.

This league is so unforgiving and you can always look back at games where you could have picked up more points.

But you can’t dwell on them and when you play the leading teams, the most important thing is that you don’t lose.

You can’t afford to do that because teams will leave you behind and it’s unforgiving.

Recharging the batteries

IT’S going to be a hectic time coming up and this break between fixtures this weekend has come at the right time for us all to recharge our batteries.

I don’t think people understand how intense our training days are.

It’s excellent and we’re really pushed to the limit by the manager, Bally and Perry Blanchette our sports scientist, with the heart rate monitors.

It’s very intense so it’s important that the players get a bit of time off and spend a bit of quality time with their families.

Our next game is against Macclesfield Town, which will be Sol Campbell’s first league match in charge of them.

He’s followed the likes of Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard in going into management and he’s a big icon for football.

I’m sure as an ex-international centre-half he’ll look to make them stronger defensively but we have to focus on us on Saturday week.

Macclesfield are at the bottom but there’s no easy game in this league and it’s very important that our young players in particular don’t just turn up and expect to roll them over.

A point of passion

A LOT has been said about Jose Mourinho kicking the water bottles after his Manchester United side scored a late winner against Young Boys in the Champions League, on Tuesday night.

But I don’t think there’s anything wrong with seeing passion from a manager.

He has such high demands of both himself and his players and he wants to win games of football.

Sometimes, I just think he’s trying to take the pressure off his players and he’s very good at turning things on him, when he needs to.

When you’re in the limelight especially at that level the scrutiny is huge and I guess that’s why people like Jose get paid the money they do.

Iconic Drogba

DIDIER Drogba has decided to hang up his boots and as a Chelsea fan, I think he’s had an unbelievable career.

He helped Chelsea enjoy their most successful period and he’s an icon of a man.

He really flourished under Jose Mourinho and they both had the same desire to win trophies and achieve more and more.

The way he regularly occupied two different defenders at any one time in matches was superb.

I’d have loved to have played alongside him – but certainly not against him!

A dog's life

NOW it’s been well documented that I like a punt and I'm in a syndicate with a couple of mates from Cheltenham.

We own a greyhound racing dog called Blade Catcher.

It’s just a hobby and a bit of fun really – it’s really an excuse for us to get together and watch the dog in action on the track and take your family along.

Blade Catcher runs at a track in Swindon and the first time, I remember going there without putting a penny on him and he won.

So the next time I went to see him in action, I put money on him…and he came last!

Since then, Blade Catcher’s been injured for about five months and although he reappeared last Saturday, I didn’t think he had much of a chance, given how long he’d been out for so I left it.

He only went and romped round, didn’t he!

I literally couldn’t believe it.

At least I’m having more luck with my little bet on Harry Redknapp in the jungle – I’ve texted the bookies to pay out now as he’s going to walk it!

I’m just waiting for his stories on Crouchy and Benjani to come out now.

Feeling festive

JORDAN Pickford’s Christmas tree has been getting a fair bit of attention on social media.

Ours has been up for a few days now.

The little one is really excited for Christmas already so it’s a bit of a Santa’s Grotto.

We’re also doing Elf on the Shelf this year, which I’m looking forward to.

It’s where the toy elf hides in a new spot each morning around the house and plays a bit of a game of hide and seek with the family.

We can’t wait!