Colchester United must ‘roll up their sleeves’
- Credit: Andrew Partridge
Colchester United might be down in the dumps, but they are far from knocked out.
Assistant manager Mark Kinsella believes that now is the time for individuals to “roll up their sleeves” and bounce back from the huge disappointment of Saturday’s home flop to Notts County.
It will take a big effort to put Saturday’s 4-0 thrashing behind them, against a team who had started the day bottom of League One.
But the U’s do not have time to feel sorry for themselves, because they have three more crunch games before the turn of the year, two of them against bottom four sides.
Following this weekend’s trip to Oldham Athletic, the U’s have post-Christmas home games against fellow strugglers Stevenage and Crewe.
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Any more performances like Saturday’s shocker and Joe Dunne’s men could be replacing one of these in the relegation zone, going into the new year.
Dunne’s No. 2, Kinsella, is fully aware of that situation.
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“Christmas is always a massive part of the footballing calendar. There’s a lot of games in a small space of days,” explained Kinsella.
“We have to dust ourselves down, which we will do.
“This defeat will hurt us, this will hurt, but we won’t shy away from that, as players and coaches.
“We had done well for the last couple of months. We have had our knock-backs with injuries, but players have come in and done well.
“Unfortunately, now it’s probably taken its toll on one or two of the younger ones.
“But what we definitely need now, down to a man, especially from the experienced ones, is for individuals to step up to the plate and start improving performances.
“We’ve got to start rolling our sleeves up.”
The pressure is certainly beginning to mount on manager Dunne, and his staff, because although performances had indeed been acceptable in recent weeks, the fact remains that the club have only won two of their last 20 games.
In fact, if the U’s hadn’t won their first two league games of the season, at Gillingham and against Port Vale, then they would already be propping up the division by now.
Following their recent two-week break, the U’s had targeted their next four fixtures as a big opportunity to amass some points and climb into the top half of the table.
To lose the first of these, so heavily and in such a depressing manner, has certainly been a body-blow.
“Of course we want to take points off the teams around us, but they will be saying the same thing about us,” continued Kinsella.
“Saturday’s defeat was hard to take.
“I’m very sorry for the fans, they have a right to moan, because we never gave them anything to shout about.
“It was a massive setback to lose the first game of this four-game period, but we have to be professional and get on with it.”
Dunne did not host the press conference after Saturday’s defeat, the first time that has happened since he was appointed 15 months ago.
Furthermore, none of the U’s players have tweeted about the game. Their silence speaks volumes.