Freddie Sears admits that Crewe away is a game Colchester United need to win

Bradford City's Rory McArdle and the U's Freddie Sears in action during Saturday's goalless draw.

Bradford City's Rory McArdle and the U's Freddie Sears in action during Saturday's goalless draw. - Credit: Su Anderson

Freddie Sears is targeting this weekend’s game at Crewe Alexandra as a key clash for lowly Colchester United.

The U’s have struggled to get going this season, despite a string of encouraging displays, and just six points from nine league games has left them second-from-bottom of League One.

Only Crewe are keeping them off the basement, which makes this Saturday’s trip to Gresty Road all the more important.

“I think we are in a false position, but it’s down to us now to start pulling up the league,” insisted leading marksman Sears.

“The league is very tight, and we are all looking forward to Saturday now. Our next two games are both away (Crewe and Preston) and that should suit us.

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“We’re confident against any team this year, and there aren’t any teams we would be scared to visit.

“We are really confident on the road. I think it suits the way we play, with counter-attacking football. It puts the emphasis on the other team to come out and attack us.

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“This Saturday is a real big game, away at Crewe. It’s probably a game we look at as one of those we need to win.

“It makes it an even bigger game, after they got well beaten at MK Dons (6-1) on Saturday,” added Sears.

New manager, Tony Humes, has so far taken charge of four games, since succeeding Joe Dunne to the Community Stadium hot seat.

Three of these four games have featured clean-sheets, with two goalless draws at Walsall (in his first game) and against Bradford City last Saturday, as well as a 2-0 win at Leyton Orient.

The one blip was the dramatic 3-2 home defeat at the hands of Sheffield United, last Tuesday evening, when the U’s blew a 2-0 lead with just eight minutes remaining to lose 3-2.

On a personal level, Sears is enjoying his new role under Humes, as the lone striker flanked by wingers Gavin Massey and Sanchez Watt. Fellow striker Jabo Ibehre is currently sidelined through injury.

“It’s a good team to play in,” continued Sears.

“Not much has changed from the last gaffer, although I think we are just moving the ball a bit quicker, and getting a few more balls up to the box for the quick boys.

“It’s ball to feet, because we won’t be bullying the centre-halves.

“Personally. it’s been a good start to the season for me. A few goals (four) have been flying in.

“I have been playing a lot higher up the field, which helps because you get a few more chances in the games, which gives you a chance to get on the score-sheet a bit more regularly.

“It’s been good with the boys wide. Gavin (Massey) and Sanchez (Watt) have been creating a lot of chances, as have the boys in midfield.

“Jabo (Ibehre) does a big role for the team, he does a good job up there.

“But the manager has gone for something different. You know that I am not going to win all the headers in the world up there, but if we get it down behind the defenders’ feet, then we are going to cause teams a lot of problems.”

Sears has so far bagged four goals in nine games, although he could really have had double that total – he has hit the woodwork, missed chances and was denied by a goal-line clearance against Bradford.

“I had a slight back problem last Thursday, but otherwise I have been feeling really fit at the start of this season,” explained Sears.

“My main aim for this season is to stay injury-free. That’s the most important thing for me.

“We’ve had a tough start, playing many of the top teams, like at Bristol City and against Doncaster.

“And I think it’s harsh that we have only taken one point from our last two home games.”

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