Colchester United keen to avoid the dreaded 100 in the goals against column

New assistant manager, Steve Ball, who will take charge of the U's today

New assistant manager, Steve Ball, who will take charge of the U's today

Colchester United will be keen to end a traumatic season on a positive note, preferably with a win, against Rochdale this lunchtime (kick-off 12.30pm).

And the U’s certainly won’t want to concede as many as three goals, because that would ensure they have a final goals against tally in three figures – they have let in 97 goals in 45 league matches.

Only once before, in the Essex club’s history, have they conceded 100 or more goals in a season (101 in 1960-61), and they won’t want that statistic to change.

Steve Ball, installed as the new assistant manager to new boss John McGreal on Wednesday, will be in charge of the U’s on a one-off caretaker basis this afternoon.

Ball will receive help in the dug-out from Richard Hall and Wayne Brown, before he begins his job as assistant to new boss John McGreal over the summer.


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“It will certainly be different to managing Maldon & Tiptree, and it will be a proud moment for me on Sunday, because I’m a Colchester boy, born in Mile End,” explained Ball.

Ball spent the second half of this season managing Ryman North club Maldon & Tiptree, in addition to overseeing the U’s under-21s, before his recent elevation to first team assistant manager .

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He continued: “This is a great club. Of course it hasn’t gone to plan this year, and there was always going to be ups-and-downs while the new structure was put in place.

“Hopefully, we can do it in one year, by coming back up next season, but I still think we can go places, in the long term.

“I came out of the game for a few years (after his playing career ended), but I got a chance to come back into it.

“I spent most of my playing career at Colchester, and of course I never dreamt that this would happen, even for one game.

“I’m more than happy to step in to help out this weekend. I’ve got some good options, with the young ones, either to start or to bring them on, that’s in my head.”

The U’s are already officially relegated, and will finish second-from-bottom, regardless of today’s result against mid-table Rochdale.

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