COLCHESTER United were left reaching for the travel sickness tablets on a regular basis, last season.

But this season, hitting the road seems to be an altogether different proposition for U’s skipper Tommy Smith and his team-mates.

Colchester visit Swindon Town tomorrow boasting one of the best away records in the top divisions, having collected an impressive eight points from a possible 12 on their travels.

That is in stark contrast to the U’s form last season, where they managed just one league away win.

It is just a shame that such form has not been replicated at the JobServe Community Stadium so far where Colchester have managed just one point – and one goal – from their opening three League Two matches at the venue.

Smith believes a key reason for the disparity.

“We’ve taken our chances more frequently in those games away from home,” said the 31-year-old centre-back.

“It’s no slight on the strikers, by the way – it’s a whole team thing.

“From set pieces, we’ve had chances that we could probably have done better with so it’s across the whole team that we need to be better in that area.

“The points have come away from home which they haven’t last season, so it’s nice that we addressed that issue but we also have to address the home form, too.

“We’d like to think we're strong at home too, so the sooner we can put that right, the better.

“We’re frustrated that we don't have more points on the board but there’ll be a few teams feeling the same.

“It’s early doors and we’ve got that game in hand as well - if we get the three points in that one, we’ll be right up there in and around where we want to be.

“It’s a tough league - if you look throughout the division, there are some really good sides in there.

“There’ll be a lot of teams who will see themselves as play-off contenders and we obviously see ourselves as that and beyond.”


Colchester are aiming to bounce back tomorrow, following their disappointing 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Crawley Town, last weekend.

“The Crawley game still had some positives for us," said Smith, who has made 54 league and cup appearances for Colchester since joining them on a free transfer from Sunderland in August, 2020.

“We had chances to go ahead in the game in the first 20-25 minutes and that’s something that we want to address.

“We want to stop going behind in games and that’s something that we’ve been working on, this week.

“We need to make sure that we capitalise when we are on top, in games and get that goal.

“The first goal can be so important, especially as the home team.

“If you concede a goal early, the away team can just bank in and make it extremely difficult to break them down.

“But if you go one up, they have to come out and it creates more space for you as the home team to play in.”

Colchester will be backed by a noisy away following again tomorrow and defender Smith says the support of the fans is appreciated by the players.

“All credit to the group for the away form, because there’s been some long trips in there as well,” said the New Zealand international.

“I have to throw out a little shout out to the fans for making some really long journeys at some awkward times.


“The Barrow one stands out for me on a Friday night and it was fantastic to have as many fans as we did there.

“The more away fans we can get to the away games, the better because they help us and galvanize us while we’re on the pitch.

“Swindon are a club that went through a lot in the summer; they've started quite well so they'll be a dangerous proposition for us.”

Colchester will be without head coach Hayden Mullins tomorrow, after he tested positive for Covid-19.

Assistant manager Alex Dyer will take charge of the U’s side in Mullins’ absence, at the County Ground.

Smith added: “We didn't see it coming and it was a bit of a shock that he got that positive result.

"The main thing is that's he's alright, healthy and getting himself back fit.

"In the meantime, we'll do our absolute best for him and he's obviously been on the phone to Al (Dyer) to get across what he wants to do.

"The main thing is keeping people safe and healthy.

"It's going to be an on-going thing and we're never going to eradicate it completely.

"Everyone just has to keep sticking to the guidelines; things are probably a little bit more relaxed at the moment but there are still guidelines to be stuck to.

"Everyone needs to be doing that, not just to keep themselves healthy but their loved ones, too.”