“I’m getting used to this” – Colchester United’s Tom Eastman

Tom Eastman, scoring for Colchester United against Scunthorpe last weekend

Tom Eastman, scoring for Colchester United against Scunthorpe last weekend - Credit: Su Anderson

Tom Eastman is no stranger to a relegation scrap, having headed home a crucial goal in the final day 2-0 win at Carlisle from two seasons ago, to keep Colchester United in League One.

Eastman had not scored another goal, in the intervening two years, until he obliged with an initial equaliser in last weekend’s 2-2 draw against Scunthorpe.

The ex-Ipswich Town defender would love to hit the target again, to help the U’s achieve a third relegation escape act on the trot, during the final week of the season.

Tony Humes’ men have three games left, starting at Fleetwood Town today, followed by home matches Swindon (next Tuesday) and Preston (Sunday week).

At the moment, the U’s are four points adrift of safety, so, even though they have a game in hand over all their relegation rivals, they simply must win at Fleetwood to give themselves a fighting chance of staying up.

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“I’m getting used to this. It’s been like it for the last few years,” admitted Eastman.

“I think we are in a bit of a worse position this year, than we have been before, but I suppose it’s still in our hands, because if we win our last three games, then it is likely we will stay up.

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“Fleetwood haven’t got too much to play for. It’s an end-of-season game for them, but for all of us it is a game that we simply have to win.

“Hopefully, we can start well. We haven’t done too badly away from home, with the exception of the last couple of away games (defeats at Coventry and Chesterfield).

“Even though it’s a must-win game, we haven’t done too much different in our build-up this week, to what we’ve done all season.

“All the players know that this is a massive game. We haven’t worked too hard in training, because we have three huge games next week, so we have had to conserve our energy,” continued Eastman.

With regards the end of his own goal-drought, Eastman said: “Last week’s goal was an added bonus.

“It was a big goal and an important goal, though it was a shame we couldn’t hold on to get all three points (conceded an injury-time equaliser to Scunthorpe’s Hakeeb Adelakun).

“Hopefully, I can score a couple more goals during the final week of the season. I got a goal at Carlisle on the final day of the season, two years ago, to keep us up, though obviously my main job is keeping clean-sheets, as a defender.

“Obviously morale was pretty low, immediately after the game last Saturday. We were all upset, and all disappointed.

“But we’ve got to go again. There’s no point in dwelling on it, or sulking,” added Eastman.

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