Goal-hungry Pell insists U’s have achieved ‘absolutely nothing yet’
PUBLISHED: 06:00 28 September 2018
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Harry Pell has played a big part in Colchester United’s terrific start to the season, but the influential midfielder insists that his new club have done “absolutely nothing yet.”
Summer signing Pell has certainly hit the ground running, since his switch from League Two rivals Cheltenham Town, and has been a prime reason why the U’s have enjoyed their best start to a season for 17 years.
Pell himself has netted three goals in his last four appearances, which would be a fine record for a striker, let alone a central midfielder, to help the U’s sit in fourth slot in the fourth tier table, with just one defeat in the club’s first nine league matches.
The impressive Pell drilled home the U’s second in a 3-3 draw at Oldham Athletic last Saturday. and is on the hunt for more goals against another opponent from the north-west tomorrow – Bury are due in town.
“Everything has been positive about the start of this season,” enthused Pell, following yesterday’s training session at a sun-kissed Florence Park, Tiptree.
“But it’s important to remember that it is only a start – we have done absolutely nothing yet.
“We must not getting carried away, which is something we say to ourselves every day.
“Confidence is at a good level, both with me and the team at the moment, but there is not much difference between ‘confidence’ and ‘complacency.’ We have to make sure that we do not stray into the latter.
“Everything has been going to the plan we set at the start of the season. We have narrowed down this season into a series of blocks, and we are coming up to the end of our first block this weekend, at the end of the second month.
“If we manage to win on Saturday, then we will have achieved or even over-achieved what we set out to do,” added Pell.
The U’s have tended to be slow starters, in recent years, but that has not been the case this term with 16 points gathered from nine fixtures, which equals the 16-point haul achieved by Steve Whitton’s Colchester team of 2001-02.
Pell himself has been firing on all cylinders in the middle of the park, alongside either Tom Lapslie (on the comeback trail after a knee injury) and more recently Brandon Comley.
He is loving every minute of it, since his switch from Whaddon Road, where his goal threat was often restricted by playing out wide rather than down the middle.
Pell continued: “I’m very happy with my own start. I have high standards, and I feel that I have slotted into the team quite well.
“I like my role in the centre of the park. It was a bit frustrating for me at Cheltenham, if I’m being honest, because we had a lot of central midfielders at the club. I was one of the most athletic, so I was often pushed out wide.
“Also, no disrespect to Cheltenham, but I am seeing a lot more of the ball at Colchester. We have the ball far more as a team, which is one of the reasons why I made the move.
“I’ve managed to score three goals in the last four games, and my aim for the season is to reach double figures for goals scored.
“I definitely think that is achievable, because I’m playing in a better team now,” added Pell.
Tilbury-born Pell, 26, was on the books of Charlton Athletic, Bristol Rovers, Hereford, AFC Wimbledon and Eastleigh (for half-a-season) before his move to Cheltenham in 2015.
He helped the Robins to win promotion back to the Football League in his first season, scoring seven goals in 2015-16, and followed this up with nine goals (in all competitions) in 2016-17 and six last season.
Pell added: “We want to be a team known for our consistency. We don’t want to be a team that wins one, loses one, wins one, loses another.
“We want to be picking up points consistently, and that’s what we have managed to do so far, while the players have also been able to express themselves on the pitch. Every team can beat every other team in this division, so there is not so much of a gulf, but we have been pretty consistent with just one defeat (2-1 at home to Northampton) so far.
“We’d like to have turned a couple of those draws into wins, but we are proving a very difficult team to beat on the road, and we hope to really be at it, at home
“If we are not at our best, we must still make sure that we are picking up points. That was why the likes of Wycombe, Luton and Accrington Stanley were so successful in winning promotion out of this division. They all picked up points even when they weren’t playing great.
“Obviously we can’t be at our best for all 46 games, but we need to be rolling up our sleeves when we’re not playing well.”