Colchester United keeper Sam Walker: “Bradford result could go one of two ways”

U's keeper Sam Walker

U's keeper Sam Walker - Credit: Richard Blaxall/Focus Images Ltd

Colchester United keeper Sam Walker believes that Bradford City’s stunning victory over Chelsea last weekend might yet play into the U’s hands.

The Bantams, managed by former U’s boss Phil Parkinson, entertain Tony Humes’ Colchester side in their next fixture this Saturday, having hit the headlines with a shock 4-2 win at Stamford Bridge.

Walker, a former Chelsea trainee, was as surprised as anyone that his old club, the Premier League leaders, should be dumped out of the FA Cup in such unceremonious fashion by League One Bradford.

The giant keeper spent seven years at Chelsea. He was in the academy set-up from 2007 to 2010, before signing a professional contract with the Londoners.

He never actually played in the first team for Chelsea, but is already closing in on 100 first team appearances for the U’s.

Walker, who celebrated his eighth clean-sheet of the season in last Saturday’s vital 2-0 win over fellow strugglers Leyton Orient, said: “We’ve got 20 games left, which means 60 points to play for.

“It’s important we use this result as a platform to go up to Bradford next weekend.

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“Of course Bradford had a superb result over the weekend, but that could go one of two ways.

“It might give them a boost, but on the other hand they could maybe take their foot off the gas a bit next week. We shall see.”

With the U’s having not put together back-to-back wins all season, Walker continued: “We will certainly be looking to get a positive result.

“It’s been a bit of problem this season, stringing together a run of results.

“We’ve had the odd good result, but then taken a step backwards.

“But two or three wins together will give us some confidence and get us away from this relegation battle.”

Gravesend-born Walker chalked up his 98th senior outing for the U’s, against Leyton Orient. Therefore, following his 99th appearance at Valley Parade this Saturday, he will be all set to bring up his century at home to Crewe Alexandra in another relegation showdown the following weekend.

The U’s are still in the bottom four, but are now just one place and two points adrift of safety thanks to their first win in six home league games.

“It was much needed after the previous week,” said Walker, with reference to the previous Saturday’s 2-0 home loss to Walsall.

“I was really pleased that we had another home game come around so quickly after the Walsall defeat. We capitalised on that and picked up a great result.”

Goals from Gavin Massey and Kaspars Gorkss enabled the U’s to leapfrog Orient in the League One table.

Walker added: “I think it makes a massive difference to get the first goal. We had not managed that in our recent home games.

“I thought we looked comfortable after we got the first goal, and then settled down.

“Leyton Orient had a lot of possession in the second half, but I never felt that they were going to hurt us very much. We held out really well at the end.

“It’s always good to keep a clean-sheet. In fact, our clean-sheet record this season has been quite good, considering where we are in the league.

“We are a difficult team to break down. Both centre-halves were terrific (against Leyton Orient) and the whole back four defended well.

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