Colchester United v Crawley Town, match preview: A big welcome ‘home’ to the bad travellers

PUBLISHED: 15:21 08 September 2017

U's boss John McGreal, hoping that his team will continue their fine home form against Crawley this weekend. Picture: PAGEPIX

U's boss John McGreal, hoping that his team will continue their fine home form against Crawley this weekend. Picture: PAGEPIX

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Colchester United are a different team at home, to the one that has continued to flounder on the road, and manager John McGreal will be hoping that this remains the case against Harry Kewell’s Crawley Town tomorrow afternoon.

On home turf, at the Weston Homes Community Stadium, the U’s resemble promotion contenders; away from home, they look like relegation candidates.

So while McGreal’s men have mustered just one away win throughout 2017, at already-doomed Leyton Orient in April, they have by contrast suffered just two league defeats on home soil this year, a proud record.

Ironically, one of those two home losses was inflicted by tomorrow’s visitors Crawley – the other conquerors were Portsmouth, who now ply their trade in League One.

It’s still early days this term, with just five games played and just four points accrued, but the U’s need to start making their mark in this division – and they have back-to-back home fixtures against Crawley and then Chesterfield next Tuesday evening in which to make advances up the table.

“Our last home game, in the league, we scored five,” explained McGreal, with reference to the 5-1 victory over Forest Green Rovers.

“And we should be scoring more goals – we had four unbelievable chances at Cambridge (1-0 defeat last weekend). These goals will come, the belief is still there.

“There’s been a lot of outside pressure, but we are only five games in, and we have a couple of home games coming up.

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“We need to win games of football, we know that. At times they (players) have let themselves down, but generally I have been really pleased with my young team.

“We are a young dynamic team, and we have options, attack-wise. We truly believe we are not that far away.

“Performance-wise, it has generally been good, and the new boys (five players recruited on transfer deadline day last week) will give us that little extra bit,” added McGreal.

Today’s visitors Crawley, managed by ex-Leeds and Liverpool attacker Harry Kewell, have recovered from a slow start to win their last two games, at Swindon and against Yeovil.

McGreal confirmed: “Crawley have had a good couple of wins of late, so we know it’s going to be a good test this weekend.”

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