Colchester United boss wants team to remember Shrewsbury and Wigan humblings, ahead of Doncaster Rovers clash

U's boss Tony Humes, who will take his side to Wealdstone for an FA Cup first round tie

U's boss Tony Humes, who will take his side to Wealdstone for an FA Cup first round tie - Credit: Su Anderson

Football managers often talk about forgetting the game just gone, but Colchester United boss Tony Humes hopes the U’s recent drubbings at Shrewsbury (4-2) and Wigan (5-0) are still fresh in the minds of his players.

The U’s recovered from those two thumpings, albeit conceding four goals in a hugely-entertaining draw with Walsall last week.

However, with little between the top and bottom there is a feeling that an improved away record would catapult Colchester right into the mix of the play-off positions.

“We will obviously remind the players about the previous couple of away games, not they will need reminding, but we will discuss it and we need to better,” said Humes.

“A lot of it is down to bad decision-making on the pitch when they get out there, it’s dealing with certain situations, and you would like to think the memories of the Shrewsbury and Wigan games are still fresh in their minds.

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“They have got to do better collectively to stifle the opposition.”

To emphasise the tight nature of the league, Colchester are just four points off the play-off positions and six points clear of the bottom four, an area today’s hosts Doncaster currently find themselves in.

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“I have said it all along that every team is very similar, barring Wigan who are the outstanding team at this moment in time,” added Humes.

“It’s usually a case of who plays the best on the day gets the result and we have got to be at it every single game to give it our best shot.

“But we have played Walsall and Gillingham who are up at the top – drew with Walsall and won against Gillingham – and I would say there was only Wigan where we have said ‘wow, they are ahead of everyone else’.

“But teams are playing against Wigan and taking points and draws, so you could say there is no real team running away with it.”

Meanwhile, Humes has expressed his desire to keep hold of in-form forward Callum Harriott beyond January.

The 21-year-old is the U’s top assist-maker (5) and has scored three goals in 12 appearances since his loan switch from Charlton.

His deal expires after the New Year and Humes said: “It’s Charlton’s call, and it’s down to whatever they want to do.

“If they see how well he has done here, I would imagine they might want to take him back to see if he can give something to them.

“If he does go back, we are actively looking at players (to replace Harriott) and you have got to be ahead of the game.

“But we will be delighted if Charlton let him stay. As well as his play, he is a great character, very effervescent and a good lad.”

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