WHICHEVER way you look, there are cup competitions everywhere at the moment.

If it’s not the FA Cup, where the U’s sadly came out second on this occasion, then it’s the EFL Trophy where we joyfully topped the group this week, then it’s all of the planning that is currently in progress for the EFL Cup and Old Trafford.

Top that with the fact that the young U’s entertain Oxford United in the FA Youth Cup next Tuesday night and it’s almost a sea of cups with not a league game in sight, especially with the Bradford game not happening tomorrow due to our raft of international players.

Cheltenham away next Saturday is now the next league game to look forward to where a fit-again Harry Pell will be busting to play and help the U’s leapfrog his old team into the play-off places.

So what of the last week? In my view Coventry City were simply on another level and if they can find a finisher or two they’ll easily secure promotion to the Championship.

I think it was an eye opener for some of our players. Their passing and movement off the ball was very good indeed and for times, not wanting to play the long pass forward, we simply could not get the ball out of our half.

On the plus side, I thought our formation change helped us but by then they had the game sewn up. Beaten by the better side on the day but not for want of trying on the U’s part.

Onto a cold and wet Tuesday night in the much-maligned EFL Trophy against Ipswich Town, where we needed Gillingham to do us a favour and not to lose.

Well, the night could not have gone better for the U’s. Really pleased for Ryan Clampin, appreciating that he was just trying to win the challenge and get the ball back into the area of course.

But without his commitment to get there, when lesser players would have shied away, we wouldn’t have won the game. I wonder if Tom Lapslie is claiming the assist for his under-hit pass? Totally pleased to watch Harry Pell get through 90 minutes again and play well.

How important will a fit Harry be to the U’s over the busy winter months?

Our reward for topping our group is a home tie in the knockout stages with the draw being made tomorrow afternoon on a well-known satellite sports show I believe.

I may not like the competition but I love to see the U’s play and do well, so let’s see where this particular road takes us.

Hope you all have a great weekend and manage to find some of the good, local football on offer to enjoy. Please also show your support for the U’s youth team next Tuesday night if you can.

Up the U’s!

Colchester United Supporters Association chairman Jon Burns