“I am very happy to be part of this battle” – Colchester United striker Freddie Sears

Tony Humes

Tony Humes

Red-hot marksman Freddie Sears is ready to play a big part in propelling Colchester United away from the relegation zone, even though his contract is set to expire this summer.

There has been much speculation that Sears, who chalked up his 13th goal of the season in last Friday night’s 3-1 defeat at Cardiff City in the FA Cup, could be on his way out of the club during this month’s transfer window.

Sears would be a free agent and so available on a free transfer, if he stays with the U’s for the rest of the campaign.

But, looking at it another way, free-scoring Sears’ goals could be the difference between the U’s cheating relegation, and ending up in League Two, during the second half of the season.

The ex-West Ham attacker has been offered a new deal by the U’s, and talks are still ongoing, although as yet there’s no indication that any agreement is close to being reached.

“I am very happy to be part of this battle to get clear of relegation,” insisted Sears.

“I am here until the end of the season, unless I am told otherwise.

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“That’s what I am trying to do. I am focussing on my football, and I’m not worried about what anyone else is saying.

“I’m here, I’m a Colchester United player, and that’s the end of it.”

The U’s are currently four points adrift of safety, after 23 of 46 league games, so it promises to be a stern test to retain the club’s League One status for an eighth successive season.

“It’s difficult, being at the bottom of the league,” admitted Sears.

“But we’ve been there before. We were there last year, and we know that if we get two wins, then we are back up there in about 17th.

“We are just looking at each game. As the manager (Tony Humes) told us in the dressing room (at Cardiff), every game is now an FA Cup final.

“Forget the FA Cup – the next 23 games are all cup finals. I know it’s a cliche, but for us it really is.”

Despite exiting the FA Cup at the third round stage, at Championship club Cardiff on Friday night, Sears enjoyed the experience and felt that the Us played well.

The 25-year-old capped a good personal display with a clinical strike, from Sanchez Watt’s lay-off, in the 74th minute.

“It was an enjoyable night, apart from the result,” confirmed Sears.

“I thought I played well, and caused their defenders some problems.

“Lately we have been playing with Sammie Szmodics just behind me, which gives me more support and freedom, whereas in the previous three or four weeks I had not really had that much support.

“It’s good playing with someone a little closer to you, and I enjoyed it out there.

“We’ve got to take the positives out of it, because it was a good performance against a good Championship side.

“We had a real good spell later in the second half. We got one goal, and could have got a second and third, but it just didn’t happen.

“We gave Cardiff a real good game, which is credit to the players and to the manager,” concluded Sears.

The U’s return to league action at Peterborough United on Saturday, hoping to begin the task of clambering out of the relegation zone.

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