‘Credit to our fans’ – Colchester United boss John McGreal
PUBLISHED: 12:00 21 March 2018
A crowd of just 893 rolled up to the Globe Arena, to endure a drab goalless draw between hosts Morecambe and visiting Colchester United on Tuesday evening.
It led to a low-key feel to the proceedings, but U’s boss John McGreal did not believe that the small crowd had anything to do with the disappointing match that unfolded on the pitch.
This was the fourth lowest attendance that the U’s have ever played in front of, in the Football League (discounting their two seasons in the Conference between 1990 and ’92).
The lowest remains the 804 who witnessed the U’s old Fourth Division clash away at Hartlepool United for the penultimate match of the 1982-83 season, on May 2, 1983.
McGreal explained: “Regardless of the crowd size, it’s a game of football, with professional footballers who get paid for what they love to do.
“Whether it’s one man and his dog, or a Sunday League fixture, or whether it’s in front of 50,000, it’s immaterial.
“We are at a level of football where we are looking for the points.
“Credit to our fans (52 at Morecambe) for making the journey. I spoke to one or two of them before the game – they were telling me that they left at lunchtime and by the time they get home it will be nearly four or five o’clock.
“It’s an unbelievable distance for them to travel. The boys showed their appreciation both before the match and after the match, because it’s a long, long way to come.
“We know that because we travelled up here ourselves in the morning. We didn’t stay over. We left at 9.15am, so it was an early start, but you wouldn’t have thought so because we finished the game really strongly.”
Goals have been a problem for the U’s all season. They have only netted once in their last five fixtures, and only scored 46 in 38 league games, the 10th poorest record in the division.
“Goals have been a problem for us this season, and in particular in recent weeks,” confirmed McGreal.
“You look at the goals we scored last year. We’ve had lots of injuries this season. Szmods (Sammie Szmodics) has come back from injury, but he has taken time to get going,”