Colchester United’s case for the defence
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By rights, Colchester United are a shade unfortunate to be so far adrift of the League Two play-off zone, going into their final five matches of this season.
And that’s because they are actually a point better off than at this same stage last term, when John McGreal’s men missed out on the top seven by just one place and one point, and because they have one of the best defensive records in the division.
The U’s, who are currently four points behind the play-off zone, have accumulated 61 points from 41 games, as opposed to 60 at this same juncture in 2016-17.
That’s mainly been due to a good defensive record. The U’s, who have conceded 45 goals in 41 matches, have the joint seventh best goals against record in the fourth tier, despite having played a game or two more than most of their rivals.
After 41 games last season, the U’s had shipped 54 goals in 41 league outings.
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A centre-half during his playing days, McGreal prides himself on fielding a strong defensive unit.
“We have been good defensively, and (Luke) Prosser has been pivotal to our recent success,” explained McGreal.
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“Frankie Kent’s performance levels have also been outstanding. It just so happens he got injured in the warm-up at Morecambe and has not been able to get back into the team.
“Ryan (Inniss) is also fit again and performing to a high standard in training, so the two (Prosser and Tom Eastman) have to be on their guard.
“ Frankie has certainly been a big part of the success we have had this season.”
On tomorrow’s visitors Accrington, McGreal said: “I’m not surprised they are top of the league. I think they will go up – they are in a fantastic position.”
COLCHESTER: Walker, Jackson, Eastman, Prosser, Vincent-Young, Comley, Stevenson, Wright, Szmodics, Senior, Mandron, Mandeville, Kent, Inniss, Murray, Ogedi-Uzokwe, Lapslie, Dickenson, Loft, Shodipo & Barnes,
ACCRINGTON: Chapman, Johnson, Hughes, Dunne, Donacien, Clark, Brown, Conneely, McConville, Jackson, Kee, Nolan, Richards-Everton, Zanzola, Sousa, Williams, Rodgers & Maxted.
Referee: Kevin Johnson (Somerset)