Getting to the do-or-die stage for Colchester United

Tom Eastman, in action against Port Vale

Tom Eastman, in action against Port Vale

Colchester United’s stalwart defender, Tom Eastman, admits that this Saturday’s trip to fellow struggles Blackpool is a “must-win game.”

The U’s are still odds on to be relegated, despite taking seven points from their last three games, with back-to-back victories over Doncaster and Coventry, followed by a battling 0-0 draw against play-off chasing Millwall last weekend.

The Essex club are currently 10 points adrift of safety, and effectively 11 due to a poor goal difference, following 2-0 home wins for relegation rivals Oldham and Fleetwood last night.

Eastman, though, is not concerning himself with the trials and tribulations of the U’s rivals.

“Five wins might be enough, from our final six games, though I’m not sure how it’s going to add up in the end. It might not be enough,” explained Eastman.

“We can only control ourselves, but there’s hope now.

“It was looking grim a few weeks ago. You can always look back and say – ‘what if’ – but you’ve always got to look forward.

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“I think Blackpool is a must-win game. It’s always a bobbly pitch up there, and they could be tough conditions.

“But we’ve got to go up there and be strong,” added Eastman.

The U’s have not conceded a goal in more than four hours football (249 minutes, not including injury-time), which is a remarkable turnaround for a club who have the worst defensive record in the Football League (87 goals conceded).

Eastman, alongside Frankie Kent, made it back-to-back clean-sheets by shutting out Millwall’s strong pairing of Lee Gregory and Steve Morison.

“We can feel a lot of pride in keeping out the Millwall strikers. They are top strikers in this league, so it was brilliant for me and Frankie (Kent), and also the whole back four,” continued Eastman.

“We’ve not conceded in more than four hours football, and we’ve got to keep that run going. It’s going down to the last few games of the season, and we’ve got to keep that up.

“It represents a good turnaround for the defence. I’m not sure what it’s down to, perhaps cutting out those silly mistakes.”

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