Iwelumo backs his team-mate

COLCHESTER United's man-of-the-moment Chris Iwelumo may have scored four goals on Tuesday night but he is adamant that he won't finish this season as the U's top scorer.

By Carl Marston

COLCHESTER United's man-of-the-moment Chris Iwelumo may have scored four goals on Tuesday night but he is adamant that he won't finish this season as the U's top scorer.

Iwelumo had not even scored a hat-trick in his career before the visit of Hull City. But that all changed as he tore the Tigers to shreds with goals in the 19th, 53rd, 66th and 80th minutes in a 5-1 rout.

The big Scotsman now has nine goals to his name this season, leaving him just one goal behind team-mate Jamie Cureton, who collected his 10th of the campaign against beleaguered Hull.

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“I will not finish the top scorer this season, that's for sure,” insisted Iwelumo last night.

“Jamie (Cureton) has already done a fantastic job and I can't see me winning the race against him. I'm quite happy taking all the knocks and bruises and setting him up with the flick-ons.

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“I've given him a bit of stick about me only being one goal behind him but Jamie will end up as the top scorer.

“Tuesday night was just my lucky night. Everything seemed to fall for me. All the rebounds fell at my feet. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time.

“I had never scored a hat-trick before, let alone four goals, except in friendly matches and for the reserves. So it was a special night for me, as well as the team,” added Iwelumo.

Despite the U's currently sitting in eighth spot in the Championship table, just three points adrift of the play-offs, Iwelumo is looking no further ahead than avoiding relegation, which means finishing at least fourth-from-bottom.

December looks like being a tough month for Geraint Williams' men. They have back-to-back away games at Cardiff City and Crystal Palace, followed by pre-Christmas games against high-flying Stoke City (at home) and leaders Preston (away).

“I want us to get to 50 points, that's the main aim,” admitted Iwelumo. “These are great times at Layer Road, but I'm not looking beyond us finishing fourth from bottom. However, once we reach 50 points, who knows what we could achieve. Anything would then be possible.

“We're going great guns at home (eight home wins on the trot), but we need to address our away form. The gaffer might change the way we play a little. We need to play ugly away from Layer Road.”

Target man Iwelumo was signed by former boss Phil Parkinson from German side Alemania Aachen during the summer of 2005. So the 28-year-old had mixed feelings about heaping more pressure on his old manager with his four-goal strike against Hull.

“I felt a bit sorry for Phil (Parkinson). He got a lot of stick on the night but the club is where it is because of what he did,” insisted Iwelumo.

“Some fans have very short memories. I hope that Phil is given the time at Hull to put the job right. I have known him for the last four years and I have great respect for him. I'm sure he can bounce back.”

Parkinson has no intention of resigning, even though his Hull team are stuck in the relegation zone. “I'm not going to walk away from anything,” insisted Parkinson.

“I'm determined to be successful. I've never walked away from anything in my life and I'm going to keep fighting to turn things around.”

His chairman Adam Pearson is fast running out of patience. Pearson felt humiliated by his side's 5-1 trouncing at Layer Road.

He blasted: “It's an absolute embarrassment for everyone connected with Hull City FC and is totally unacceptable. I never want to see anything like that again. It's a real test for the management and the players.

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