Brave hearts are needed for Colchester United to escape relegation

Tom Eastman, scoring for Colchester United against Scunthorpe last weekend

Tom Eastman, scoring for Colchester United against Scunthorpe last weekend - Credit: Su Anderson

Colchester United boss, Tony Humes, has called for brave hearts and a positive approach from his young players, going into the final three key games of the season.

Despite the U’s precarious position, second-from-bottom and cast adrift from the safety zone, Humes still believes that his side can defy the odds and stay up.

He has been quick to praise his young charges all season, since he was appointed to the U’s hot seat at the start of September, but now he is demanding one last effort in a bid to avoid relegation into League Two.

The U’s travel to eighth-placed Fleetwood Town on Saturday, for the Essex club’s first-ever visit to the Cod Army’s Highbury Stadium, before entertaining promotion-chasing Swindon (next Tuesday) and Preston (Sunday week) in their final two fixtures.

Humes’ men might need to win all three games, to secure an eighth successive season in League One, or take seven points at the very least.

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In fact, a defeat at Fleetwood could even see them officially relegated, depending on results elsewhere, with two games still to play.

Humes, though, is not considering such a circumstance.

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“The players are fighting for the cause,” hailed Humes.

“We have got to remain totally realistic, that we can get enough points to get out of it. Otherwise, if we don’t turn up for the last three games, then it shows a massive lack of backbone from everybody.

“We’ve got to keep going, and battle like we did against Scunthorpe (2-2 home draw last Saturday).

“It’s just about seeing it out to the end. It’s nearly, nearly, at the moment, but the game is not over until the final whistle goes,” added Humes, with reference to conceding an injury-time equaliser to Scunthorpe’s Hakeeb Adekalun.

Humes continued: “It was another knock, following Tuesday night (6-0 defeat at Chesterfield), but my players have continued to bounce back.

“They have shown good morale, and a good team spirit.

“People are very quick to knock, but the players are very positive and tight knit. It’s been a difficult season, but they keep going.

“We’ve got to be positive. There are nine points to play for, albeit all three games are tough. We’ve got to see what we can get out of these three games.

“They’ve got to be brave, like they were against Scunthorpe (two late goals from Tom Eastman and Chris Porter).

“The players have always stuck together.

“They have done that all season, even though things haven’t always gone right for them.

“And they will keep going. They were seconds away from getting a win out of the Scunthorpe game.

“The players showed what the club means to them, and what everybody is working for.

“There’s a bigger picture here, than just the first team. There’s a lot going on, there’s a lot of work going on together, and we want to take the club forward.

“The players have shown that they have massive pride and massive belief that they want to be a part of what we are doing.

“And while there are points to play for, the players have got to go out there and play for them.”

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