HARRY Pell is bracing himself for ‘fireworks’ when Colchester United host his old club Cheltenham Town in a top-six cracker, this weekend.

And the popular U’s midfielder is hoping to help his side make a bang and boost their League Two hopes by producing an explosive performance against one of their promotion rivals.

Colchester head into the game in sixth spot, five points behind their fifth-placed visitors.

And Pell, who won National League promotion with the Robins in 2016, knows how big a win would be against his former club.

Pell said: “It’s a massive game between two very good teams who are trying to accomplish the same thing.

“We seem to do really well against the big teams and hopefully it’ll be the case again, this weekend.

“The fans all need to get behind us and let’s all try and get three points.

“The pressure is on both teams and it’s going to be an encounter where I’ll be looking to get stuck in, if selected.

“It’s the business end of the season and it’s a big game for both teams.

“Both teams will want to win the game for the right reasons and I think it’s going to be a good advert for League Two football.

“They’re in a very positive place at the moment so when you’ve got two very good teams playing really good football and winning matches, hopefully there’ll be a few fireworks and we’ll come out on top.

“They’re playing well and have a very good team but of late, I don’t think they’ve been playing as well as they can but they’re still picking up results and that’s the sign of a very good team.

“They’ve got some players who can turn a game as we have at the click of a finger.

“The gaffer (John McGreal) knows their manager (Michael Duff) really well having played with him (at Burnley), so it will be me and him looking to beat former associates!

“It’s going to be a really good game and may the best team win.”

Pell spent three years with Cheltenham before leaving them to join Colchester, in 2018.

The 28-year-old was back at his old club on Tuesday night when he watched them beat Northampton Town 2-1, at Whaddon Road.

“I got a nice little reception there,” added Pell, who made 134 appearances during his time at Cheltenham.

“The chairman (Andy Wilcox) invited me and two of the other boys who got promoted out on the pitch.

“I knew that the gaffer (John McGreal) and Bally (Steve Ball) were there too and I was thinking ‘oh no, the gaffer’s in the stand!’.

“It’s quite good to see them doing well.

“I think the way that they play is quite unique actually.

“I was quite surprised by the way that they play.

“It’s quite unorthodox – I saw some of their centre-halves under-lapping and things like that which Sheffield United are doing really well at the moment but you don’t really see, at our level.

“They’re a club with good people.

“When I went there, the club was near enough on its knees and in a bad place.

“They’d been relegated the season before I went there and financially they were in a bit of difficult so it’s nice to see them doing so well now.

“I’ve got a lot of time for Cheltenham but most definitely, I’ll be itching to get three points on Saturday.”