McGreal ahead of Mansfield clash: ‘We are still in with a shout’

Mikael Mandron celebrates after scoring the U's second goal in a 2-0 home win over Mansfield Town la

Mikael Mandron celebrates after scoring the U's second goal in a 2-0 home win over Mansfield Town last season. The Stags are today's visitors to the Community Stadium. Picture: STEVE WALLER WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COM - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Colchester United boss, John McGreal, insists that his team are “still in with a shout,” in terms of promotion, ahead of today’s big top-five clash against ambitious Mansfield Town.

The U’s put a recent barren spell behind them with last weekend’s convincing 3-0 win at lowly Port Vale, to move to within two points and two places of the top three.

Mansfield currently occupy that third and last automatic promotion slot, so today’s encounter takes on an even bigger significance.

“It’s a fantastic game for us, and a fantastic game for them to,” enthused McGreal.

“You always want to pit your wits against the best teams in the division, and that will be the case against Mansfield.

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“Although they recently suffered back-to-back defeats (to Yeovil and Carlisle), they were unbeaten in 17 before then, and they returned to winning ways in midweek (1-0 win over Crawley).

“Their manager, David Flitcroft, has stuck to his principles and his teams produce a good style of football. He has also managed to add to his squad this week, with a couple of new signings.

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“But we have scored six goals in our last two matches. Our last home game against Notts County (3-3 draw) was very entertaining, and we then performed very well last week (3-0 win at Port Vale).

“You are only as good as your last game, and we are still in with a shout.

“We are still amongst it, with the big boys in our division, and our target is to be there at the end of the season,” added McGreal.

Harry Pell netted a brace, at Vale Park last weekend, to boost his tally for the season to seven goals (six in the league), while Courtney Senior broke the deadlock with his fourth of the campaign. Now the U’s will be hoping to continue the scoring trend against Mansfield, and so end an indifferent run of three home games without a victory (two points out of a possible nine).

“Harry (Pell) was brilliant last week, and he’s so infectious. The fans really relate to him,” continued McGreal.

“The competition for finishing as top scorer is strong. It keeps it all bubbling. We are scoring goals from all over the pitch, and so haven’t been just reliant on the strikers. We’d love to have a 20-goal striker, but three or four approaching double figures can be just as good.”

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