“No one is getting carried away” – Colchester United defender Bongani Khumalo
- Credit: Richard Blaxall/Focus Images Ltd
It is no fluke that Colchester United’s terrific four-match unbeaten run, which has given them genuine hope of beating the drop, has coincided with the arrival of Bongani Khumalo.
Experienced centre-half Khumalo, recruited on loan from Tottenham to shore up a leaky defence, has delivered four impressive performances, alongside Tom Eastman.
The U’s have taken 10 points from a possible 12, in those four games, with victories over Yeovil, Port Vale and Barnsley, and a 2-2 draw away at Gillingham.
Khumalo, who played for South Africa in the 2010 World Cup, has hardly put a foot wrong in those four outings.
But the 28-year-old knows that there is a long way to go, for the U’s to finally secure their League One status – they remain second-from-bottom, two points from safety.
“No one is getting carried away, what’s done has been done,” explained Khumalo.
“We just want to continue with this momentum, and this work-rate, and our all-round good attitude.
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“There is still a long way to go, certainly.
“Personally, I take satisfaction from winning games, and keeping clean-sheets, especially as a defender.
“Coming here, I obviously knew exactly what was expected of me, and I am very happy that we are on the right track.
“I’m playing games, and for that I am very grateful for the club.
“I am grateful to Colchester for giving me the opportunity to come here and play. The rest is history and we look forward to Saturday (away at Coventry).
“Of course Coventry is a big game, but then every game is a big game now. We need to get a result from every game,” added Khumalo.
Swiss-born Khumalo, who has never actually made a first-team appearance for Tottenham, since his arrival in 2011, has looked the part alongside Eastman, who has been ever-present this term.
Just four goals have been conceded in those last four games, and on Easter Monday the U’s did it the hard way by bouncing back from a 1-0 deficit, to secure a 3-1 win over play-off- chasing Barnsley.
Gavin Massey, Jacob Murphy and George Moncur were all on target in the second half to sink the Tykes.
“This was a big win. It was important that we kept the positive momentum going from last Friday (2-1 win at Port Vale), and I believe we did that,” continued Khumalo.
“We had to have a re-think at half-time, being 1-0 down. We had to take the game to them.
“Since I’ve been here, for the last few games, I think we have shown good dynamics to the team.
“This was the first time we had to come from a goal down. We managed to do that, and that should give us a lot of confidence that we can overcome any situation.
“We have to be solid, that has to be the base of every game. Conceding one goal from a set-piece was annoying, but I think we otherwise did well to contain Barnsley.
“I’m thoroughly enjoying playing alongside Tom Eastman. We have a good partnership going, in a short space of time.
“As long as we keep talking and keep working hard and everyone around us is in the right positions, then we should be OK.”