Dynamic dozen puts U's in frame

IF this season was only a dozen matches old, then Colchester United would be away and clear in second spot!

Carl Marston

IF this season was only a dozen matches old, then Colchester United would be away and clear in second spot!

Only run-a-way leaders Leicester City, who are 10 points clear at the top, can boast a better record than the ever-improving U's over the last 12 fixtures.

Both Foxes boss Nigel Pearson and U's supremo Paul Lambert are vying for the League One manager-of-the-month award for January - the winner will be officially announced this lunchtime. Scunthorpe's Nigel Adkins and Bristol Rovers' Paul Trollope are the other contenders.

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It is no surprise that Leicester, backed by crowds averaging about 20,000 this term, are on course for an immediate return to the Championship. Nor is it a surprise that they are the in-form team in the division, with 32 points accrued from a possible 36 in their last 12 games.

Leicester's fantastic run of 10 wins and two draws is worthy of promotion, and indeed the title, but the U's can also boast promotion-credentials of their own over the last two months.

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United have accumulated 27 points from their last dozen games - that's four more than MK Dons, who are currently lying in the second automatic promotion position.

Of course the U's disastrous start to the season, which saw them wallowing in the relegation zone before this latest set of 12 matches, is likely to deny them a chance of promotion, unless they manage to keep this amazing run going over the last 18 games of the campaign.

In truth, Lambert's men haven't looked like faltering. They have been impressive defensively, with a mere five goals conceded in nine league games, and scoring goals has not been a major problem, especially away from home.

Weather permitting, the U's entertain Stockport County this Saturday - they will leapfrog the Hatters if they can complete a league double, having won 2-1 at Edgeley Park in what was Lambert's first match in charge.

Striker Clive Platt will be available again, having served his one-match suspension last weekend, when the U's notched an impressive 2-0 win at Carlisle.

The U's are currently seven points adrift of the play-offs.

HOW the League One table would look, if only the last dozen matches were taken into account:

1 Leicester 32pts


3 MK Dons 23

4 Peterborough 21

5 Millwall 21

6 Huddersfield 21

7 Scunthorpe 20

8 Tranmere 20

9 Oldham 18

10 Yeovil 18

11 Leeds 16

12 Carlisle 15

13 Bristol Rovers 13

14 Crewe 13

15 Northampton 13

16 Hereford 12

17 Stockport 11

18 Swindon 11

19 Hartlepool 10

20 Walsall 10

21 Cheltenham 10

22 Leyton Orient 9

23 Brighton 9

24 Southend 8

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