Attack-minded U’s gunning for league double over Valiants

Ryan Jackson celebrates scoring the second in the U's 2-0 win over Port Vale in August. The U's will

Ryan Jackson celebrates scoring the second in the U's 2-0 win over Port Vale in August. The U's will hope to complete a league double today Picture: STEVE WALLER - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Colchester United have drawn huge praise from today’s hosts, Port Vale, both from their manager Neil Aspin and their leading scorer Tom Pope.

The U’s have failed to win in four matches, a lean spell that has seen them not only drop out of the top three, but also the play-off zone.

However, they more than impressed Valiants boss, Aspin, during their first home fixture of the season, back on August 11, when the U’s cruised to a 2-0 win, and they will be hoping to rekindle their old form in the Potteries today.

They will probably never have a better chance to get their promotion bid back on track, against a Port Vale side who have nose-dived to 19th in the League Two table, and are second-from-bottom in the League Two form table with no wins in their last six league games.

“I think anybody who watched Colchester when we played them in the second game of the season would have been impressed,” admitted Aspin.

“I certainly was, I thought they were really good that day. They deserved to beat us and they should have won by more than the two goals.

“They were very good and we know it is a big test, but a lot of our players acquitted themselves well in the Lincoln game (1-1 away draw in Vale’s last league outing).

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“This is a different type of test, I feel, against Colchester, but I feel they have a lot of good quality. They can certainly score goals and we will have to be at our best defensively first to give ourselves a chance of getting a goal to win the game,” added Aspin

Valiants leading marksman Pope (nine goals), who is usually a handful for the U’s defence, echoed his manager’s words, even claiming that the U’s were “the best team” he had seen in League Two this term.

The U’s were held to a 3-3 home draw by bottom club Notts County last weekend, making it just two points accrued from a possible 12 in their last four games, since the superb pre-Christmas 1-0 win at second-placed MK Dons.

“I was really happy with our attacking display against Notts County, and defensively in the second half is how we normally defend,” said boss John McGreal.

“We have that run of five games in quick succession out of the way. I think it’s really silly to play all those games in such a short period, especially as now we go Saturday-to-Saturday for the next nine weeks, which is ridiculous.

“We need to tighten up defensively but I am not going to take away our attacking display, which was dynamic.”