‘I am trying to do a job for the team’ – Colchester United defender George Elokobi

Brennan Dickenson is disappointed at the final whistle following the 3-1 defeat at Notts County on A

Brennan Dickenson is disappointed at the final whistle following the 3-1 defeat at Notts County on April 1. At the time, the U's play-off hopes looked remote, while Dickenson has since suffered a long-term knee injury. Picture: PAGEPIIX

George Elokobi, a mainstay of Colchester United’s defence this season, admits that the U’s poor away form has seriously hindered their play-off chances, especially since the turn of the year.

Elokobi explained: “Usually it’s our home form that has been the problem.

“But this year it has changed. The home form has been fantastic and the away form, especially in 2017, has not been so great.

“We’ve got to look at that going into our next away game (at Morecambe), and also next season, because if you want to be up there then your away form has to replicate your home form.

“We haven’t managed that, and we have two away games left to sort it out.

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“Personally, I’m happy with the way this season has gone, but I’m disappointed with today and that we didn’t manage to keep a clean-sheet.

“This season is not over yet, because there are still plenty of points (18) to be played for, and I want to carry on performing to try and help this football club achieve something this season.”

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Elokobi escaped with a yellow card for a robust first-half challenge on ex-U’s loanee Elliott Hewitt, which left the home crowd baying for a red card.

“I am trying to do a job for the team, and I’m not one of those centre-halves who is not going to be booked. From time-to-time I will get booked,” continued Elokobi.

“We are trying to defend for our lives, and you always might get one or two tackles timed wrong, hopefully without hurting anyone.

“I was determined after that to make sure that I didn’t go into any silly challenges. I had a word with the ref, and he had a word with me.

“I never hurt the player, the ref saw that, and maybe my reputation helps. I speak to the refs in an OK manner, because I know they have a hard job to do.”

Meanwhile, manager John McGreal said: “The best side on the day won,” confessed McGreal.

“We kept in it by getting the equaliser but again, going back to Crewe (2-0 defeat in previous away game), we give teams a good start and concede poor goals.

“It’s tough to get back into it. We managed it, with Chris Porter’s excellent goal to give us a foothold in the game, but then conceded another poor goal.

“That’s where we are at the moment, trying to get that consistency level for home and away.

“Their two forwards (Jon Stead and Shola Ameobi) were hot today, especially Ameobi, who was terrific.

“They are the highlights of their team, we have got to stop them as the opposition, but we didn’t manage that.

“But it’s all about reacting, and trying to keep the lads positive going into next weekend’s game.

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