Different view for Karl

KARL Duguid may have been at Colchester United all his career, but he's never been associated with a team billed as pre-season promotion candidates.

Carl Marston

by Carl Marston

KARL Duguid may have been at Colchester United all his career, but he's never been associated with a team billed as pre-season promotion candidates.

It will be a new experience for U's stalwart Duguid, who celebrated his 400th senior appearance on the opening day of last season.

No one was more disappointed than Duguid when the U's finished rock bottom of the Championship last term, and so were condemned to life back in League One. But he reckons there is potential for a quick bounce back.

"This will be the first season where we haven't been written off by the bookies, since I've been at the club," explained Duguid, who is already looking forward to his 14th season as a professional.

Most Read

"I suppose it will be a different kind of pressure this time. Even when we got promoted two years ago, I remember we had been tipped to go down from League One at the start of the season.

"In fact, we've really been tipped for relegation for each of the last 10 years. That's what I've been used to.

"We know that we all under-achieved as players last season. We could and should have done a lot better. We know we have a good squad and we'll be looking to prove the bookies right with their odds," added 30-year-old Duguid.

The bookmakers, across the board, have placed Leeds United as the favourites for the League One title, with Leicester City likely to be their closest rivals.

The newly-promoted duo of MK Dons and Peterborough United are also valued at short odds to taste a second successive promotion, but behind this quartet the U's are in a bunch of teams who should be vying for a play-off place.

Duguid continued: "I thought Leeds would go up last season, but they ended up losing to Doncaster in the play-off final. I fact, I didn't fancy any of those teams who went up through the play-offs!

"Bristol City performed well against us over the season, so I thought they would win the Championship final. But Hull came good late on.

They kicked in at the right time. They came from nowhere.

"The Championship was so unpredictable last year. Who would have thought that Stoke (finished second) and Hull would go up?

"The only team who didn't surprise me was West Brom. They were easily the best team in the division, and they deserved to go up as champions.

"I don't know whether Leeds will walk the league next season. They obviously did well despite their 15 points deduction last year, but it's not going to be that easy for them.

"I suggest Leicester will push them at the top. They had a great squad, and yet they ended up being relegated. They should have been pushing for the play-offs.

"I'm not surprised that the bookies also fancy Peterborough and MK Dons. They both have money behind them and also have the momentum, which is important.

"They are teams on the up, who are used to winning, a bit like Southend from a few years ago when they went up through the divisions.

Bristol City almost did the same last season," added Duguid.

Odds of between 12-1 and 20-1 have been placed on the U's winning League One outright by the various bookmakers. The longest price for Leeds is 4-1, and Leicester 6-1. Colchester are bracketed with clubs that include Carlisle, Southend and Scunthorpe.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter