Defiant U’s boss: ‘We can beat anyone’

COLCHESTER United boss Aidy Boothroyd doesn’t just think his side can still make the play-offs – he believes they can win them.

COLCHESTER United boss Aidy Boothroyd doesn’t just think his side can still make the play-offs – he believes they can win them.

The U’s make the long trip top a rejuvenated Hartlepool side today knowing that victory is imperative if they are to claw their way back into the top six.

And despite the fact that the Essex side have lost their last five away games in succession, Boothroyd remains confident his side can rediscover their impressive early season form.

“We’re still very much in with a shot,” said the U’s boss. “We have just got to focus on ourselves because if we get things right then we will have a fantastic chance.

“Nobody gets an easy game against Colchester United. Even over this latest run I don’t think anybody has had an easy game against us. Teams know they’ve been in a game when they play us.

“It’s really important that we finish the job off and get into the play-offs because, if we do, then nobody will want to play us.

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“We believe we can beat anybody whether they are at the top, middle or bottom of the league.

“We have to finish this off – we just have to.”

Colchester travelled up to Yorkshire yesterday before using Sheffield Wednesday’s training facilities. Manager Boothroyd then took the chance to watch rivals Huddersfield take on Millwall and, after an overnight stop, the squad were due to travel onwards to Hartlepool this morning.

There has been good and bad news for Colchester regarding injuries and suspensions ahead of today’s game. Topscorer Kevin Lisbie will be available after the Football Association overturned the red card he received at Charlton on Tuesday night, however the U’s will still be without a number of key players.

Anthony Wordsworth is serving the second game of his two-match suspension, John-Joe O’Toole has been ruled out for up to nine months with a cruciate knee injury, while Kayode Odejayi (ankle) and Paul Reid (back) are still not fit.

As a result, Boothroyd decided to recall left-winger Simon Hackney from his loan spell at League Two side Morecambe on Thursday.

Hartlepool: Flinders, Cook; Haslam, Austin, Clark, Hartley, Collins; McSweeney, Humpreys, Gamble, Monkhouse, Jones, Sweeney, Liddle, Rowell; O’Donovan, Brown, Bjornsson, Boyd, Mackay.

Colchester: Williams, Cousins; White, Tierney, Okuonghae, Queudrue, Batth, Heath, Ifil; Vincent, Hackney, Prutton, Izzet, Fox, Henderson; Lisbie, Gillespie, Platt.

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