New boy Ifil confident U's can escape

HOME debutant Phil Ifil believes that Colchester United will beat the drop if they can replicate Saturday's encouraging display for the rest of the season.

Carl Marston

HOME debutant Phil Ifil believes that Colchester United will beat the drop if they can replicate Saturday's encouraging display for the rest of the season.

Ifil enjoyed another impressive display at right-back, following his move from Tottenham last month. His first two games for the U's had both been on the road, at Bristol City and Barnsley.

“If we play like that for the rest of the season, then we'll pick up a lot of points,” insisted Ifil following Saturday's 2-2 draw against Sheffield United.


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“We tried our best, but in the end we couldn't get the winner. But we are staying very positive, and if we keep playing like that, then we'll get what we deserve.

“We showed a great response to the blow of falling behind. I thought we had most of the best chances in the first half, and a couple of refereeing decisions did not go for us,” added Ifil.

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The 21-year-old defender was alluding in particular to referee Keith Hill's failure to award the U's a penalty for Ugo Ehiogu's robust challenge on Kevin Lisbie, inside the box. Lisbie was left lying on the deck.

Ifil signed for the U's on the same day as fellow defender Chris Coyne arrived from Luton. Coyne moved for a £350,000 fee, and Ifil's final deal could even surpass that figure with all the add-on clauses.

He continued: “I'm just glad to be playing regular football again. That's what I needed.

“I'm really happy to be here at Colchester United, and I'm very grateful to have been given this chance.

“Kevin Lisbie's goal was a great strike. It was nothing more than we deserved, and we then got a bit of luck with the deflected free-kick (Jon Stead own goal).

“However, we were disappointed to concede the second goal. We got caught out with that one. We gave the lad (David Carney) too much space in the penalty area,” concluded Ifil.

Meanwhile, Sheffield United boss Bryan Robson insisted that he was not feeling the pressure, despite his side's continued slide down the Championship table.

The Blades are now a distant eight points adrift of the play-offs, with little hope of securing an immediate return to the Premier League.

“I'm not feeling under pressure at this stage. I'm just disappointed that we are unable to kill off teams at the moment,” revealed Robson.

“We are not winning games that we should be winning. That's been the case for the last month. But there are still a lot of games left, and we are still capable of going on a run,” added Robson.

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