Parky urges for fans' support

COLCHESTER United boss Phil Parkinson has urged U's supporters to get behind their team during the final quarter of the season.Parkinson has been more than happy with the backing of the U's faithful this term, although he was distressed to see a couple of away supporters hurling abuse at their own players following the end of Tuesday night's 1-0 defeat at Swansea City.

COLCHESTER United boss Phil Parkinson has urged U's supporters to get behind their team during the final quarter of the season.

Parkinson has been more than happy with the backing of the U's faithful this term, although he was distressed to see a couple of away supporters hurling abuse at their own players following the end of Tuesday night's 1-0 defeat at Swansea City.

Karl Duguid was one of those players to be on the wrong end of the verbal tirade, as the team walked across to the away fans to thank them for their support in a closely-fought LDV Vans Trophy southern area final first leg tie at the Liberty Stadium.

Parkinson insisted: “One or two of the lads are lacking a little confidence at the moment, which is the time when we need our supporters most.

“I want them to really get behind us, which is what they have done for most of this season.

“I just feel that they should look at the bigger picture, and see the season as a whole. We're having a good season. In fact, we are on the verge of having the best season in the club's history.

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“The fans have been great, and we really need them to help the lads though this current lean spell. Players like Chris (Iwelumo) are low on confidence, and they need lifting.

“We were all very disappointed after the 3-0 defeat to Southend last Saturday. I told the players that they had let the fans down, and we want to apologise for that. They players know that they didn't perform against Southend.

“It's not quite happening for us at the moment. It was only a minority of fans who had a go at some of the lads after the final whistle at Swansea. But I found this incredible. Otherwise, the fans have been fantastic this season.

“We want them to help us to go on and get promotion,” added Parkinson.

After a tremendous run of 20 victories in 22 games, the U's have dropped far below their high standards over the last month.

No wins and just one goal (an own goal from Chelsea defender Ricardo Carvalho) in the last six games has led to a crisis of confidence at Layer Road.

Yet there is still so much to look forward to, between now and the end of the season. The U's are just one step away from a first ever appearance at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium - they have a good chance of overturning Swansea's 1-0 advantage in the second leg at Layer Road next Tuesday evening. Carlisle United await the winners.

But first, there is a tough league tussle at fellow promotion rivals Oldham Athletic this Saturday. Andy Ritchie's men are eying up a play-off spot, having risen to seventh spot. They are six points adrift of the sixth-placed U's.

“Things might not be going for us, but the performance at Swansea was a step in the right direction. I had a long chat with the players on Monday. I edited a few videos, and we went through them so that we could take a good look at ourselves.

“The effort and attitude is good. The lads are working for each other. We just need a goal. We've had three disallowed in recent matches.

“The fans have a big role to play now. They can help us to get back on track,” concluded Parkinson.

Meanwhile, the U's Reserves' home match against Stevenage Borough's second string was postponed yesterday, due to a waterlogged pitch.

The League One match against visiting Hartlepool has been moved from April 25 to Tuesday, April 11.

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