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Kings of Anglia Issue 8 Magazine Offer

U’s need to feel ‘at home’ this season

PUBLISHED: 07:00 11 August 2018

Sammie Szmodics, who bagged a 95th minute equaliser for the U's at Mansfield in a 1-1 draw. Picture: STEVE WALLER

Sammie Szmodics, who bagged a 95th minute equaliser for the U's at Mansfield in a 1-1 draw. Picture: STEVE WALLER

© Copyright Stephen Waller

Colchester United kick off their home campaign, of the new season, with an awkward test against a potentially dangerous Port Vale side this afternoon.

While the U’s began their 2018-19 term with a gritty goalless draw at Notts County last weekend, the free-scoring Valiants put visiting Cambridge United to the sword at Vale Park.

Target man Tom Pope, always a handful for any opposing defence, bagged a brace after summer signing Ricky Miller had broken the deadlock to sink former U’s manager Joe Dunne’s Cambridge side.

While Port Vale clearly have a goal threat, U’s boss John McGreal is banking on his side to take the initiative and get supporters off their seats with a positive, on-the-front-foot display, to lay down a marker for the season.

Certainly, the U’s will need to improve on their mediocre home record from 2017-18, which yielded just nine wins from 23 home league fixtures, with 34 points accrued. It was only the 12th best in the division, and a prime reason why John McGreal’s men missed out on the League Two play-offs by the wide margin on 13 points and six places.

Instead, the Essex club need to get back to the sort of form that graced the Community Stadium in 2016-17, when an impressive 14 home wins and a big haul of 46 points took them to within one point and one place of the play-offs.

In fact, only promoted Doncaster had a better home record in the fourth tier two years ago, the U’s finishing joint second in the ‘home table’ with Portsmouth, another club who were promoted. A dismal away record cost the U’s a possible promotion that season.

“Home form is crucial for every team, at any level, and that goes for Manchester City as well,” insisted McGreal.

“The onus will be on us, as the home team, and a good home record is vital if you want to have a successful season.

“We’ve got to get our fans on their feet in the South Stand as soon as we can, to get the atmosphere going, by putting in a good performance.

“We’re all looking forward to the game, and we’re hoping for a big crowd as well.

“Port Vale will be a real test for us, because Neil (Aspin) will be disappointed with how last season panned out. They started so well, but then fell away, a bit like we did,” added McGreal.

In our daily feature, we take a look at what happened on this day in Ipswich Town’s history – and today includes two unbeaten home runs and Paul Mariner seeing red

Ipswich Town are bottom of the Championship after 13 games. Here’s what striker Freddie Sears had to say about the threat of relegation, rumours of discontent and manager Paul Hurst’s methods.

Ipswich Town manager Paul Hurst discussed playing style, signings, the role of senior players and changes required at Ipswich Town during his press conference this morning.

Paul Hurst believes a ‘different voice’ can benefit his Ipswich Town side after confirming Chris Hogg has stepped up to help coach the first team.

Ipswich Town manager Paul Hurst believes talk of owner Marcus Evans already lining up a possible replacement is simply ‘hearsay’.

Ipswich Town boss Paul Hurst has responded to criticism surrounding his decision to leave two World Cup players on the bench and admitted he may put Bartosz Bialkowski back in goal at Leeds United tomorrow night.

Ipswich Town manager Paul Hurst told the media that there is a lot at the club which needs to change when he held his press conference ahead of the clash with Leeds this morning.

Paul Hurst’s Ipswich sit bottom of the Championship with just one win to their name. Here ANDY WARREN looks at how it’s come to this for Hurst and the Blues.

Former Ipswich Town captain Matt Holland has questioned Paul Hurst’s recruitment strategy and decision-making while admitting he fears for the future of his former club.

Ipswich Town are rock bottom of the Championship following their 2-0 home loss to QPR on Saturday. Andy Warren will be hosting a webchat from 12.30pm to discuss what’s going on with the Blues.

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