Don't panic says U's skipper Duguid
COLCHESTER United skipper Karl Duguid is not fazed by the U's descent into the bottom three.Instead, club stalwart Duguid is relishing the challenge of guiding the U's out of trouble and ultimately to a third season in the Championship.
By Carl Marston
COLCHESTER United skipper Karl Duguid is not fazed by the U's descent into the bottom three.
Instead, club stalwart Duguid is relishing the challenge of guiding the U's out of trouble and ultimately to a third season in the Championship.
Geraint Williams' men capitulated in dramatic fashion away to fellow strugglers Cardiff City on Saturday, leaking four goals in a crazy 17-minute spell early in the second-half to slump to a 4-1 defeat.
That result, coupled with Norwich City's 1-0 win over Sheffield United, condemned the U's to the bottom three for the first time since the opening month of last season.
The U's and the Canaries clash at Layer Road on Saturday, in front of the Sky TV cameras. Duguid wants the recovery to start with that match.
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“Everyone is staying positive, even though we're now in the bottom three. If you start being negative, then you'll never get out of it,” explained Duguid last night.
“It doesn't take much to get oneself out of trouble. Teams that were below us have got out of trouble with just a couple of wins, and that's what we must do.
“We know what we are capable of, and we know the situation which we're in. It's all very close at the bottom.
“It's important that we improve our home form. That was so important last season. Next Saturday is a big game against Norwich, especially as they are one of the teams around us.
“We had two good games against Norwich last season, drawing 1-1 at Carrow Road and winning 3-0 at our place. It will be good to see Jamie Cureton (the U's Golden Boot winner with 24 goals last season). He's a good character and was one of the boys last season.
“We want to keep him quiet on Saturday, and make sure that he's not smiling at the end of the match,” added Duguid. Front-runner Cureton signed for the Canaries last summer.
Right-back Duguid, who is the U's longest-serving player, is hoping to be fit for this weekend's East Anglian derby, despite hobbling off the pitch with a calf injury during the heavy defeat at Cardiff.
But it might be touch-and-go for the 29-year-old, who came up through the youth ranks at Layer Road to make his senior debut in 1995.
Duguid confirmed: “I've got a sore calf at the moment. It stiffened up in the first half, and by half-time it was getting worse.
“In the end, I came off as a precaution. It was just getting stiffer and stiffer, and I haven't done a lot since. It shouldn't be a long-term problem, and I'm hoping to be fit for the Norwich game.
“However, it's too early to say either way at the moment,” added Duguid.
The U's have endured a miserable run since beating high-flying West Brom 3-2 at Layer Road on October 20.
Just six points from a possible 30 in their last 10 fixtures has seen them slide from 12th to 22nd in the Championship table.