No panic for U's despite two defeats

LOSING your first two games of the season is no reason to panic. Just ask Colchester United!Last season, the U's lost their opening two fixtures of their League One campaign, at Gillingham and at home to Swansea City.

By Carl Marston

LOSING your first two games of the season is no reason to panic. Just ask Colchester United!

Last season, the U's lost their opening two fixtures of their League One campaign, at Gillingham and at home to Swansea City. But that didn't stop them from going on to finish second in the table, and so earn automatic promotion to the Championship.

It's not surprising, then, that Colchester skipper Karl Duguid is not too concerned with his side's inability to break their duck in what is their first-ever season as a Championship club.

Defeats at Birmingham City and at home to Plymouth Argyle have left the U's still searching for their first point of this historic campaign. They will hope to put the record straight at home to fellow promoted Barnsley on Saturday.

“You don't go down just because you've lost your first two games of the season. We proved that last year!” revealed Duguid last night.

Most Read

“Having lost our first two games, we then won our third one - at home to Barnsley, which is what we would like to do again this weekend.

“There's not much point in looking at results just yet. We went on to have a fantastic season last season, and we have already adapted well to life in the Championship.

“We haven't had much luck yet, otherwise we could be sitting pretty with four points to our name. Unfortunately, we are not, but these are very early days.

“I suppose the only bonus is that the likes of Hull City and Ipswich are below us in the table, even if that is only because of alphabetical order!” added Duguid.

Former U's boss Phil Parkinson, who resigned from the Layer Road hot-seat to take over the managerial reins at Hull this summer, has endured a frustrating start to his season. The Tigers have suffered back-to-back defeats by West Brom and Barnsley, while the U's East Anglian neighbours Ipswich are also still looking for their first point.

Although Parkinson's three-year tenure at Layer Road was an unprecedented success story, he didn't enjoy good starts in two of his three full seasons. In addition to last season's double defeat, his squad of 2003-04 lost their first three league fixtures, at the hands of Barnsley, Swindon and Port Vale. The U's still went on to finish in the top half of the table that campaign.

Meanwhile, a spectacular strike from full debutant Luke Summerfield earned visiting Plymouth a 1-0 win at Layer Road on Tuesday night. It was a match that Geraint Williams' men dominated, only to be thwarted by two goal-line clearances and the woodwork (Richard Garcia hit the bar after only four minutes).

Duguid was one of those U's players to suffer in front of goal. The left-winger saw his 13th minute lob headed off the goal-line by defender Hasney Aljofree.

“I hit the lob quite high, because I thought the keeper was closer to me than he actually was,” admitted Duguid.

“The difference between League One and the Championship seems to be that other teams take their chances. In League One, you could afford to have four chances and miss two or three of them, but you can't at this level. We are finding that out to our cost.

“I think we have performed well in our first two games. We adapted to two very different styles in our first two matches. Birmingham play a lot of football, while Plymouth tended to be in our faces. We created loads of chances in both games, but we have to learn to be more clinical. We felt we could have done more to stop Birmingham's two goals (2-1 defeat), although there wasn't a lot we could have done about Plymouth's great strike.

“I'm sure it's just a matter of time before we get things going. It would be more worrying if we weren't creating many chances,” added Duguid.

Last season, the U's followed up two straight defeats with a narrow 1-0 win over visiting Barnsley, thanks to a goal from Chris Iwelumo.

United would certainly take that same result on Saturday!

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter