U’s third-from-bottom – in form table

Leading scorer Sammie Szmodics fires in a shot during the 2-0 defeat at Bury, which was the U's fift

Leading scorer Sammie Szmodics fires in a shot during the 2-0 defeat at Bury, which was the U's fifth loss in their last six outings. Picture: PAGEPIX

Colchester United’s current run of form is one reminiscent of relegation candidates, rather than promotion contenders.

And that is why the U’s have drifted out of the League Two play-off race in recent weeks – they are five points adrift of the top seven, with just four matches remaining, whereas only a couple of months ago they even had hopes of finishing in the top three.

The League Two form table, spanning the last five matches, sees the U’s down in third-from-bottom, with only relegation-haunted Yeovil and Crawley below them.

A sequence of four defeats in those five games – they have actually lost five of their last six – has almost certainly cost John McGreal’s men a chance of being involved in the end-of-season play-offs.

All they can do is win their last four matches, at home to Grimsby (on Good Friday) and MK Dons, and away at Yeovil (Easter Monday) and Lincoln City (final day of the season), and hope that other results go their way.

It is a very unlikely scenario.

“As long as I am here and got a breath, we will keep going so long as its mathematically possible,” insisted McGreal.

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“We’ve still got a chance, and I will give it as much as I can to set up my team to get the wins.”

The U’s latest defeat was a 2-0 reverse at Bury on Saturday, when two second-half headers by Dom Telford lifted the Shakers to second spot, and left their Essex visitors staring at the prospect of a mid-table finish.

“We knew we had an opportunity because of the results (seventh-placed Exeter’s defeat at Macclesfield) in midweek,” continued McGreal. “We are just hoping to get that goal to get the lead, which we haven’t had of late.

“It’s difficult to take, week after week, because the goals keep going in at the other end. It has been hurting of late. The game was lost by mistakes.

“We can’t buy a goal at the minute, and obviously there was a chat going on in the dressing room after the match (at Gigg Lane).

“But we still have four games left,” added McGreal.

While the U’s are in the bottom three, in the League Two form-table, it is no surprise that the top five places are all filled by teams in play-off contention – Oldham, Newport, Forest Green Rovers, Tranmere and Exeter.

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