Jacko predicts U’s for play-offs

JOHNNIE Jackson played his part in plotting the downfall of Colchester United on Tuesday night, but the Charlton midfielder is still predicting his old club to be “in the mix” this season.

JOHNNIE Jackson played his part in plotting the downfall of Colchester United on Tuesday night, but the Charlton midfielder is still predicting his old club to be “in the mix” this season.

Jackson is targeting a top-two finish for his Charlton team, and the Londoners continued to top the League One table following a comfortable 2-0 win over the U’s.

John Ward’s men were outplayed in their midweek clash, and yet Jackson is expecting his former club to be in the play-off hunt.

“I would expect Colchester to be pushing for the play-offs,” insisted Jackson.

“This division is so competitive. The top two would be tough for them, but I would imagine they would be knocking on the door of the top six.

“I am very fond of Colchester, and I still have a lot of friends here. They are an honest bunch of players, and they will be there or thereabouts.”

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Ex-Tottenham trainee Jackson was a regular in the Colchester side for three seasons, between 2006 and ’09, spanning the reigns of Geraint Williams and Paul Lambert in the hot seat.

He enjoyed his time with the U’s, especially the experience of playing at the old Layer Road.

Although United can boast a good home record at the Weston Homes Community Stadium over the last two seasons, Jackson believes that visiting teams prefer to play at the new stadium.

“Colchester is always a tough place to come,” added Jackson, who made 107 league appearances for the U’s.

“But it’s not quite Layer Road. This is obviously a lovely stadium, but I used to love playing at Layer Road.

“I think a lot of the time the game was won before the other side got out onto the pitch.

“That’s what we always tried to do at Layer Road, but that doesn’t have quite the same effect here because it’s a nice place to come and play your football. But their home form is still looking good.”

A brace from Addicks striker Bradley Wright-Phillips, inside the first half-hour, inflicted a first league defeat of the season on the U’s on Tuesday night.

Jackson, 28, set up the second goal with a dangerous cross from the left flank.

U’s boss Ward predicts Charlton will be promotion contenders, and Jackson himself is eying up automatic promotion.

“So far it’s looking good for us this season. We’ve played like this in all three games,” revealed Jackson.

“We will be a handful for most sides. We don’t just want to finish in the top six, we want to be in the top two or winning the league.”

The U’s travel to Huddersfield Town on Saturday.

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