‘It’s how we react’ – U’s boss McGreal ahead of Morecambe clash

Sammie Szmodics on the ball with Steve Seddon and Scott Cuthbert closing in during the Boxing Day 2-

Sammie Szmodics on the ball with Steve Seddon and Scott Cuthbert closing in during the Boxing Day 2-1 defeat to Stevenage.. Picture: STEVE WALLER - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

With the current heavy schedule of five games in 14 days, Colchester United boss John McGreal looks sure to tinker with his starting line-up over the next couple of fixtures, at home to lowly Morecambe tomorrow and away at 18th-placed Crawley Town on New Year’s Day.

McGreal started with a three-man defence, but changed it to a flat back-four during the disappointing 2-1 home defeat to Stevenage on Boxing Day, with full-back Kane Vincent-Young replacing centre-half Frankie Kent at half-time.

He also tried to liven up his attack by introducing Courtney Senior and Mikael Mandron as substitutes during the second half, with the latter hitting the post with a good header.

Certainly, squad players Mandron, Senior and Vincent-Young (recovered from a foot injury) look sure to feature over the next couple of games, though McGreal will probably retain the services of Luke Norris up top against Morecambe.

Following the Boxing Day defeat to Stevenage, McGreal said: “We fell into that trap of taking that extra touch, when we needed to move it quicker. We were just off it a little bit.

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“We haven’t got that consistency at the moment, which we will need if we want to stay in and around that top seven, to be successful.

“There were a lot of near misses, but too many of our shots were straight at the keeper (Paul Farman). They were regulation saves rather than wonder saves.

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“I still fancied us at half-time, even though we were 2-0 down, but we weren’t able to build on our good win at MK Dons (1-0 last Saturday).

“It’s unfortunate that we weren’t able to capitalise on Lincoln and MK Dons (the top two) both losing. However, there’s another game coming up quickly now.

“It’s nice that it’s at home again. The fans were terrific again (against Stevenage) and it was a shame we couldn’t get the result for them.

“This is a tough division, but we have bounced back from defeats in the past, and again it’s how we react.”


COLCHESTER: Gilmartin, Eastman, Prosser, Kent, Jackson, Pell, Lapslie, Dickenson, Szmodics, Nouble, Norris, Mandron, Vincent-Young, Senior, Comley, Gondoh, Kensdale Wright & Barnes.

MORECAMBE: Halstead, Cranston, Lavelle, Old, Mills, Ellison, Wildig, Tutte, Mandeville, Oliver, Leitch-Smith, Oates, Kenyon, Thompson, Oswell, Yarney, Hedley, Mendes-Gomes & Szczepaniak.

Referee: John Busby (Oxon)

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