Chilvers ready for crucial time

By Carl MarstonCOLCHESTER United defender Liam Chilvers is determined not to let the U's fantastic season go to waste, during the last quarter of the campaign.

By Carl Marston

COLCHESTER United defender Liam Chilvers is determined not to let the U's fantastic season go to waste, during the last quarter of the campaign.

Phil Parkinson's men face a crunch fixture at Oldham Athletic this afternoon, and the result of this head-to-head could be a strong indicator of the U's eventual fate this term.

A win at Boundary Park would be a massive boost to United's automatic promotion bid; a draw would consolidate their place in the play-offs; but a defeat would enable Oldham to move to within three points of the U's.


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Once again, today's outcome could make or break Colchester's season. Chilvers is looking forward to the challenge this weekend, and the challenges that lie ahead.

“We may have slipped a little of late, but other results have tended to go our way, so we are still in a decent position,” confirmed Chilvers.

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“We have 12 league games left, and we want to win most of them to give ourselves a chance of finishing either top or in second. At worst, we would take the play-offs.

“It's so important that we don't let all our hard work go to waste. We have done so well this season, and we don't want to slip up on the run-in,” added Chilvers.

The U's have failed to win any of their last six fixtures, and scored just one goal - an own goal from Ricardo Carvalho in the 3-1 defeat at Chelsea.

However, they remain in the thick of the League One promotion race, and they produced an improved display in the 1-0 loss at Swansea City on Tuesday night, in the first leg of the LDV Vans Trophy southern area final.

Centre-half Chilvers continued: “I thought that we did the simple things well at Swansea. We all did our jobs, and it was a big improvement on last Saturday against Southend (3-0 home defeat).

“We've seen Swansea's goal on the video, and I doubt whether the lad (Adebayo Akinfenwa) could ever do it again! The ball hit his hand as it dropped to him, and he tried to shoot into one corner, only to mis-hit his shot with the ball going in the other corner.

“Apart from that, we all played well as a team. Hopefully, we can now make up for the last few games.

“The second leg of the LDV Vans Trophy is nicely poised. We have a good chance of reaching the Millennium Stadium, especially as we have home advantage in the second leg.

“Yet first we have Oldham this weekend. They've done well recently, and they have a lot of experienced players at this level, like proven goalscorer Luke Beckett.

“We want to defend well, and hopefully we can nick a goal or two. It could kick-start us for a good run until the end of the season.

“I had a month out through injury (hernia operation), but I've had the rest and I'm getting match-fit again. Hopefully, I can make an impact for the rest of the season,” added Chilvers.

The U's have 12 league games left, seven away and five at Layer Road. Despite their recent lean spell, they still nurse genuine hopes of finishing in the top two.

They have games in hand over all their rivals, apart from Brentford. In fact, the tightness of the League One table is reflected in the Bees' midweek victory at Yeovil, which saw them climb from sixth to second spot.

Striker Richard Garcia is the one injury doubt. The Australian limped off the pitch with a knee injury during the second half of Tuesday night's game at Swansea.

Squads

OLDHAM ATHLETIC: L Grant, Swailes, Branston, Haining, Edwards, Hughes. Butcher, Wellens, Taylor, Beckett, Warne, Hall, Day, Forbes, Owen, Porter, Tierney and A Grant.

COLCHESTER UNITED: Davison, Duguid, Chilvers, Brown, White, Halford, Watson, Danns, Yeates, Iwelumo, Williams, Stockley, Izzet, Baldwin, Richards, Garcia, Thorpe, Elokobi and Gerken.

carl.marston@archant.co.uk

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