Colchester United’s Sean Murray relishing a home test against his long-standing rivals Luton
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Sean Murray cannot wait for the visit of high-flying Luton Town this Saturday, and not just because it’s a potentially big promotion showdown.
Murray has spent most of his career at Luton’s arch rivals, Watford, and was born in Abbots Langley, Hertfordshire, just five miles away from Watford and only 13 miles from Luton.
So any clash with the Hatters has added spice for Murray, who was at Watford from the age of nine to 22 – and Saturday is no exception.
Midfielder Murray is desperate to reignite Colchester United’s season, which is in danger of slipping into mid-table obscurity rather than building up to a play-off crescendo.
Last Saturday’s disappointing 2-0 defeat at lowly Crewe extended the U’s winless run on the road to seven matches, with just three points accrued from a possible 21.
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The U’s have maintained an interest in the top seven, due to an outstanding home record (eight wins in their last 10), but that will be put to the test by fifth-placed Luton, who are five points and six places better off than their weekend hosts.
“Luton’s going to be a big game, because of where we both are in the league, and also because it’s almost a local derby. It’s certainly local for me!” explained Murray.
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“We want to put last weekend behind us, and continue our good home record.
“There are a lot of big home games coming up, against the top teams, so it’s an exciting period.”
Next month, John McGreal’s men entertain fourth-placed Stevenage, leaders Doncaster Rovers and second-placed Plymouth.
But in between, the U’s also have away fixtures at bottom-half-of-the-table outfits Notts County, Morecambe and Leyton Orient.
And they will need to drastically improve their away form, if they are to have any chance of gate-crashing the top seven.
“We had chances in the second half at Crewe, but we just never got going in the first half, which was disappointing,” said Murray.
“That first-half really hurt us. We didn’t take the game by the scruff of the neck. We sat too deep and we let Crewe come at us.
“It was very different in the second half. We just didn’t manage to score, but we are still very much in the mix. We have taken that defeat on the chin.”