Carl Marston’s big match preview - Colchester United v Shrewsbury Town

Freddie Sears curls a shot wide of the target during the first half at Brentford

Freddie Sears curls a shot wide of the target during the first half at Brentford - Credit: Archant

Colchester United boss, Joe Dunne, knows more than anyone else how vital it is for his team to halt their win-less streak.

The U’s travel to Shrewsbury Town this evening, desperate to end a run of 10 league games without a win, and 11 in all competitions.

They have come so close to stopping the rot over the last fortnight – they conceded a 96th minute equaliser in their last home game against Walsall, and leaked three late goals in Saturday’s 3-1 defeat at Brentford.

“We just need a win, and I believe it will come,” insisted Dunne.

“In one game, somewhere, we’ll get a break, then get a second goal and kill off a team.


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“We’ve got to be good swimmers, because we are swimming against a very heavy tide at the momentum.

“But we will come out of this – it’s not as bad as last year (nine straight defeats).

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“It gets it (Saturday’s defeat) out of our system quickly, having this game on Tuesday.

“We can go there and win, that’s for sure. We will not be going there to try and consolidate.

“I recognise that 10 games without a win becomes the headline, which masks how well some of my players are doing at the moment. It’s my job, as manager, to pick them up.

“But I would acknowledge that we do need a win, in this run, for sure,” added Dunne.

Freddie’s call to arms

Freddie Sears has called for the U’s to play out of their skins, in a bid to fashion a precious victory this week.

The U’s are away at Shrewsbury this evening, before entertaining second-placed Peterborough on Saturday.

“We have to treat these next two games like our lives depended on it,” insisted leading marksman Sears.

“It’s a big week, with two big games. We have to be mentally strong now.”

Positive Magnus

Magnus Okuonghae is confident that the U’s can halt their win--less run this evening.

The U’s centre-half chalked up his first goal of the season, with the opener in the 3-1 defeat at Brentford on Saturday.

“If we can play like that again, and cut out the mistakes, I’m very confident we can get what we deserve out of the game,” insisted Okuonghae.

“I think we beat ourselves at Brentford, not the other way round. It was down to our mistakes.

“It’s nice to have a Tuesday game. We will take all the positives out of Saturday, and all the other weeks, and roll them into one.”

Dunne’s words

U’s boss Joe Dunne admits that his team have a problem clinging onto leads, at the moment.

Dunne explained: “When you are leading, and you haven’t won for a while, generally what you do is drop deep as a team psychologically.

“When we are in the lead, the stats will say that we don’t hold onto leads. We have lost many points from being in the lead, but that will change.

“We are not losing consistently this season, unlike last year I believe we are better than last year, we have a stronger squad this time.”

Shrewd opposition

Shrewsbury are only ahead of the U’s on goal difference, with both clubs having won two and drawn six of their 12 fixtures.

But the Shrews are in better form. They were unlucky to suffer a narrow 1-0 defeat at high-fliers Peterborough on Saturday, having defeated Gillingham 2-0 on home turf in their previous outing.

Manager Graham Turner, who celebrated his 66th birthday earlier this month has appealed to his players to be mentally strong, ahead of tonight’s game.

“We can take encouragement from the Peterborough game,” said Turner.

“But we need to be mentally stronger for Colchester. We have to have the belief that we can put on a good show.”

Carl says

This will be a mental, as well as a physical battle, and the U’s will have to dig deep to win.

Squads

SHREWSBURY: Weale, Parry, Winfield, Mkandawire, Jacobson, Wood, Wildig, McAllister, Taylor, Lopez, Bradshaw, Jones, Goldson, McAlinden, Reach, McQuade, Marsden & Anyon.

COLCHESTER: Walker, Wilson, Okuonghae, Pappoe, Garbutt, Eastmond, David Wright, Massey, Gilbey, Sears, Ibehre, Monakana, Morrison, Sendels-White, Bean, Bond, Szmodics & Phillips,

Ref: Darren Drysdale (Lincs)

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