‘I’ve been playing everywhere! – Colchester United’s Drey Wright
- Credit: Richard Blaxall / Pagepix
Colchester United stalwart Drey Wright, who made his professional debut as a 17-year-old, believes that the U’s are “in a good place” going into tomorrow’s home match against Carlisle United.
The U’s are gradually climbing the League Two table (15th), after a sluggish start to the campaign, thanks to back-to-back victories at Yeovil (1-0) and against Mansfield (2-0) last weekend, and seven points out of a possible nine when the 2-2 draw at Grimsby is taken into account.
The versatile Wright, who is still only 22, has played in a variety of positions already for John McGreal’s side this term, including an opening day experiment as a left wing-back at Accrington Stanley, a spell as an out-and-out striker and also outings in his more familiar winger’s role.
Last weekend, against the Stags, Wright began as a right winger and ended it as a left wing-back. He looked comfortable in both positions, and is confident that the club’s winning run can continue against the Cumbrians tomorrow afternoon.
“We have built up a head of steam,” enthused Wright, following yesterday’s training session at Florence Park, Tiptree.
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Wright continued: “We have picked up a good spell of form, and everyone feels that we are in a good place at the moment.
“The main thing, from a defensive point of view, is that we have kept two clean-sheets in our last two matches. That’s been good for (keeper) Sam (Walker) and the whole defence.
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“We’ve got some momentum, which all started with that draw at Grimsby. Even though we were all devastated in the dressing room, at the end of that game, having conceded a late equaliser, we knew that we had played well, and that we had turned a corner.
“It was a game we should have won, and we went straight back out there in our next match and won at Yeovil.
“We have managed to tighten up in a few areas, while at the other end we have always had the quality to score one or two goals in every game,” added Wright.
London-born Wright, who has now rattled up 103 league games, and 115 first-team appearances – that figure would have been more, but for two years ravaged by injuries (just 16 matches were played in the combined 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons).
He has featured in every league game this term, and started in nine of that 12.
“I’ve been playing everywhere!” joked Wright.
“Last weekend, I started in wide-midfield in a 4-4-2, but after we got the injury (to Kane Vincent-Young) and we changed it to three-at-the-back, I played as a left-wing-back.
“I didn’t do so well in that position at Accrington at the start of the season. That was not a great performance. I was not tried ad tested in that position, and Accrington were a good side, especially at home, which they have since proved.
“But it went a lot better for me last Saturday. We had a lot more possession, as the home team, and that really helped.
“All footballers should be able to play in a number of different positions, and we as a team can change formations during any match. In fact, we really caused Mansfield problems after we changed our shape last weekend.
“We’ve done a lot of work on changing formations in training, and I am confident that we can pick up another three points this weekend.
“We are in a good position. We’ve started to win both at home and away, and I’m happy with the way I have been playing in recent weeks.
“I came out of the side for a few (three) games, but when I came on as a sub in these games I did make quite an impact, in various different roles,” added Wright.
He was relegated to the bench following the 1-0 defeat at Cambridge United at the beginning of September, and was employed as a substitute for the next the fixtures at home to Crawley and Chesterfield, and away at Cheltenham.
Now he is back in the starting line-up, and ready to carry on the good work, although there is one aspect of his game that he wants to improve on;
“I want to be scoring more goals. I want to add that to my game,” admitted Wright, who has only netted 13 goals in 103 league outings.
“Obviously that isn’t so easy in the wing-back role, when I have to be more aware of my defensive side of the game. I need to be tight, first and foremost, to stop the opposition.
“But Brennan (Dickenson) proved last season that you can still score goals in this position,” added Wright. Dickenson bagged 12 goals in 2016-17.