Big preview: Colchester United v Oldham Athletic
Back-to-back wins have been in short supply for play-off chasing Colchester United this season, but they have a chance to celebrate a fourth ‘double’ against improving Oldham Athletic tomorrow afternoon.
The U’s beat Lincoln and Swindon at home in quick succession in the autumn, won two on the trot at Forest Green Rovers and against Macclesfield in late November/early December, and kicked-off February with back-to-back wins over Northampton and Cheltenham.
Now they will hope to build on last weekend’s last-gasp 1-0 victory at Cambridge, secured thanks to Kane Vincent-Young’s 96th minute winner, by effectively killing-off the play-off hopes of Oldham.
“The plan is to hopefully spring a few results together now, starting with back-to-back wins,” explained McGreal.
“But Oldham have had two wins of late, since Pete (Wild) took over from Paul Scholes, so it will be a tough game. We will have to keep an eye on them, because they have a handful of very good players.
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“They will feel they have a chance of making the play-off themselves (seven points adrift), because teams above them have been slipping up of late.
“Behind us, Swindon are back in the frame and Newport also have a couple of games in hand, but we just have to look after ourselves.”
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The U’s are currently just one point adrift of the top seven, but if they can beat the Latics, and both Exeter and Forest Green Rovers fail to win at Cheltenham and Crawley respectively, then McGreal’s men would climb to sixth in the table, with five fixtures to play.
McGreal has a few selection dilemmas. Frank Nouble is available again after a three-match ban, while recent recruit Sam Saunders is pushing for a first start in central midfield. Tom Eastman is also fit again.
COLCHESTER: Barnes, Jackson, Prosser, Kent, Vincent-Young, Saunders, Stevenson, Senior, Szmodics, Nouble, Mandron, Norris, Eastman, Lapslie, Eisa, Dickenson, Wright, Chilvers & Gilmartin.
OLDHAM: Iverson, Hamer, Clarke, Edmundson, Iacouitti, Branger, Missilou, Nepomuceno, Maouche, Lang, O’Grady, Sylla, Taylor, Coke, Benteke, Hunt, Sefli & de la Paz.
Referee: Lee Swabey (Devon)