“I feel this is going to be a win for us” – Colchester United keeper Elliott Parish
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Elliott Parish believes that new manager, Kevin Keen, has already “made an impact” during his first couple of matches in charge.
And Colchester United’s re-installed first choice keeper is confident that the U’s will finally end their miserable losing streak, with a victory at fellow strugglers Oldham Athletic this afternoon.
The U’s have lost their last nine league games on the bounce, although performances have improved since Keen took over the managerial reins, with a 2-0 home defeat to Essex rivals Southend on Boxing Day and a narrow 1-0 reverse at third-placed Gilingham on Monday.
Parish has returned to the team, for these last couple of fixtures, for his first taste of League One action since the end of August.
And the 25-year-old believes that his next appearance, at Boundary Park, today, will coincide with a much-needed win.
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“One win will be the springboard for us, and I’m confident that will come this weekend,” insisted Parish.
“We are getting so close, and I feel that this Saturday is going to be a win for us.
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“It’s a big month ahead for us, and we are all very positive and looking forward to every game, starting with Oldham.
“Personally, I was one of the few people that were pleased that we had Saturday-Monday games, in quick succession, because it was nice to be back in the team.
“I’m pleased to be back and I feel like I’m playing well. Looking on, the team feels a lot more tight as well.
“I think the performances have been good, and I think maybe we just haven’t had the rub of green.
“Certainly, I believe the new manager (Keen) has definitely made an impact. I feel like we are slightly tighter as a unit, and as a team, defensively, while we are still creating chances, which is a definite positive,” added Parish.
Towcester-born Parish, who began his career as a trainee at Aston Villa, without ever making a first-team appearance for the Midlanders, was recruited by then U’s-boss Tony Humes last summer, as a long-term replacement for long-standing reserve keeper Chris Lewington, who left the Essex club in September.
Parish played in the U’s five league games of the season, due to regular No. 1 Sam Walker’s injury woes, but lost his place when Jamie Jones was signed on a 93-day emergency loan from Preston.
Jones was ever-present during the next three months, with the exception of the FA Cup first round tie at Wealdstone – Parish returned for that 6-2 win – but following Jones’ return to Deepdale, before Christmas, Parish has been back between the sticks.
Referring to his time on the sidelines, out of the team, Parish explained: “It’s not been difficult for me to concentrate while I’ve not been playing, because the coach, George Bankole, won’t you let you have a day off.
“If you come in and sulk, which isn’t in my character anyway, then he won’t let that happen. The sessions are top class, and he’s a good coach. He keeps you going, regardless of whether you are second choice or third choice, it doesn’t matter.
“Playing or not playing, we are all pulling together in the right direction, and we all have the same plan.
“I didn’t hit the levels I wanted to, at the start of the season, and I obviously found myself out of the team.
“Now I’m back in the team, and hopefully the results will now turn.
“We really want to give our supporters something to get behind us, and to put smiles back on their faces, rather than them trying to lift us, and I think that’s coming,” added Parish.