‘Our next two games are key’ – insists Colchester United’s Frankie Kent

Frankie Kent, right, in action against Southend last weekend

Frankie Kent, right, in action against Southend last weekend - Credit: Richard Blaxall/Focus Images Ltd

Frankie Kent is still upbeat about Colchester United’s chances of beating the drop, even though the U’s have slipped to eight points adrift of League One safety heading towards the final third of the season.

The U’s latest defeat, 3-0 at Essex rivals Southend last Saturday, has left the U’s rooted of the foot of the table, and even further away from League One salvation.

Their fellow strugglers picked up vital points last weekend, with Crewe beating Rochdale 2-0, and Fleetwood and Shrewsbury sharing a goalless draw at Highbury Stadium on Sunday. Oldham, the other bottom five side, did not play due to a postponement.

With just 17 fixtures remaining, the U’s will probably have to win nine of these, in addition to scrambling two or three draws, to escape relegation. That’s a mountain to climb, especially for a team who have only managed five victories in their first 29 games!

Yet centre-half Kent is up for the challenge.

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“We’ve got to take the positives from the game,” insisted Kent, with reference to the defeat at Roots Hall.

“I’m absolutely gutted, because the boys did brilliantly for the 80 minutes, then came the game-changing moment with the first goal.

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“I feel as though the boys did really well, and we’ve got to carry that on into training this week and look forward to next week’s game against Swindon.

“We were holding on well (at Southend). It was just one of those things. We held out for a long time with 10 men (following Alex Gilbey’s 36th minute dismissal), and we also looked like we had a threat going forward, to hit them on the counter.

“I thought we defended really well, but it was a good goal (Anthony Wordsworth’s 82nd minute opener). We couldn’t do much about it.

“I’m just so gutted, after being in the game for so long.

“It sums up where we are at the moment, but we’ve got to try and stay positive.

“It’s not just clicking for us at the minute, but I’m sure it will. We’ve just got to continue looking forward.

“We’ve still got 17 games to go. We went on a decent run earlier in the season (four wins on the bounce), and we can do that again.

“I know that we’ve got the quality of players to do it. We just need the little things to click for us.

“We are doing as much as we can, we were just unlucky at Southend. We will keep trying our hardest,” added Kent.

The U’s have now taken just three points from their last 14 games, with 11 defeats and three draws, stemming back to the last time they won a league match, which was a 2-1 home success over Port Vale on October 21.

This awful sequence of results has left Kevin Keen’s men deep in the relegation mire, and it’s paramount that they regain that long-lost winning touch in their next two games, both at home, against Swindon (on Saturday) and Chesterfield (next Tuesday) to stand a chance of staying in League One for a ninth successive season.

“Our next two games are key to our whole season, playing at home,” admitted Kent.

“The fans, as proved by the Tottenham FA Cup game, have been brilliant and they have been getting right behind us.

“We just need one game, a turning point, and one little thing or one goal to go for us. Anything can change it.

“I feel it’s coming, I know we keep saying it, but IT IS coming, I can feel it.

“We all have to take responsibility for the results. We are part of a whole team.

“It was helpful to have a long chat after Saturday’s game in the dressing room, so that everyone could say what they thought,” added Kent.

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