It’s always been the same – Colchester United winger Gavin Massey

Rochdale's Andrew Cannon holding off Gavin Massey last Saturday

Rochdale's Andrew Cannon holding off Gavin Massey last Saturday

Gavin Massey is one of only three survivors from the Colchester United squad which staved off relegation, on the final day of the 2012-13 season.

And the U’s winger does not want to go through a repeat of the heartache of that last day ordeal, when final opponents Preston visit the Weston Homes Community Stadium on Sunday, May 3.

Massey has never known anything different to a relegation struggle, ever since he signed for the U’s from Watford in the summer of 2012.

Having escaped relegation with a 2-0 win at Carlisle on the final day, two years ago, the U’s managed it with just one weekend to spare last term, thanks to a surprise home win over Brentford.

This time, though, things are looking even more precarious for the Essex club, not least because Tony Humes’ men have been in the relegation zone for virtually the whole of the last three months.

“I’ve been here three years now, and it’s been the same for all of those three years,” rued Massey.

“We play good football, but we need to be more clinical – we need to be punishing teams, like at Rochdale last weekend when we should have been at least scoring three goals, and yet ended up losing (2-1). But I still think we can stay up, definitely.

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“People have said we’ve been going down in the previous two seasons, but we avoided it on the final day two years ago, and done it with a game still to go last year.

“There are lots of points still to play for, and it’s a huge next 10 days for us with games against Crawley, Yeovil and Gillingham.

“In fact, it’s been ‘huge’ for a number of weeks now.

“We’ve been winning games where people wouldn’t have been expecting us to win games, like against Bristol City (3-2) and at Oldham (1-0).

“People wrote us off in these games, and people are still writing us off,” added Massey

Centre-half Tom Eastman and keeper Sam Walker, in addition to Massey, are the only survivors from that last day escape at Carlisle in May, 2013.

Massey continued: “We all know that we are good footballers. We have done it for the last two seasons, avoiding relegation.

“The team might have changed, but we’re still quality footballers, and on our day we can open teams apart. But it’s pointless saying that, though, because we need to win games.

“At this stage of the season, it’s pointless playing well in games and still losing. It’s now all about getting points,” concluded Massey.

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