“It’s up to us to produce now” – Colchester United skipper David Fox

Straight-talking David Fox

Straight-talking David Fox - Credit: Archant

Personal pride, as well as a potential third round glamour tie, is at stake when Colchester United take on Peterborough United in the FA Cup this Sunday.

The U’s new skipper, David Fox, has called on his young team-mates to “roll up their sleeves” and put the pride back into the Colchester “shirt.”

Hammered and humiliated 6-0 at MK Dons last Saturday, the U’s need a quick, strong response against Posh.

Midfielder Fox, the only U’s player over the age of 25 in the team at Milton Keynes, knows what it takes to respond from such a deadly blow.

And the 30-year-old realises that a big response is required, in front of home fans, to heal the wounds.

“We’ve got a lot of soul-searching amongst ourselves to do this week, to put it right,” insisted Fox.

“And that’s because, all of a sudden, this has become a tough period for us.

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“It’s difficult. I remember getting beaten 7-0 at Preston (January 2, 2010), when I was first here (at Colchester) in the FA Cup, and that was tough when we went on to get beaten by five by Norwich in our next game (5-0 home defeat).

“That was a tough period, but it’s important that we stick together now.

“What we can’t have is people going off here and there. It’s up to us to produce now.

“How can we put it right? I believe that comes from within, and a desire to fight, to roll up your sleeves and do the ugly side of the game.

“We’ve got to really stick together. We’ve got to battle for everything, and that starts on the training ground.

“Sunday is massive, not only because of the game, and the prospect of a third round tie, but to put a bit of pride into the shirt for the fans. They deserve a lot better than what we produced at MK Dons.

“I also take my share of responsibility. We’ve lost the last two at home, so we owe them something,” added Fox.

Ex-Norwich stalwart Fox recognises that no one, from last weekend’s starting XI, is guaranteed to keep their place against Peterborough.

He was also quick to stress the blow of losing Magnus Okuonghae the previous weekend – the club skipper and leading centre-half looks set to be out for the season with a ruptured Achilles.

“It’s a clean slate for everyone now,” continued Fox.

“There are 11 places that are up for grabs.

“Last week was a horrible week for the club, and that defeat topped it off.

“We could possibly have done with a few more old heads out there, and certainly the loss of Magnus (Okuonghae) is massive.

“Magnus is a huge presence on the pitch, as well as off it. He is a big loss to us at the minute, but it’s up to the lads in the team to produce.”

Despite a run of four straight defeats, and last Saturday’s humbling experience, Fox still believes that Tony Humes’ young guns are good enough to stay in League One.

“We have enough characters and enough ability in there, to stay in this division,” insisted Fox. The U’s are currently third from bottom.

“We didn’t become a great team overnight when we went four or five unbeaten, and I don’t think we are as bad as 6-0. We are a lot better than that.”