Practice makes perfect for Colchester
SOME extra practise on corner routines during a training session on Friday paid dividends as Colchester United struck twice from corners to sink Walsall 2-0 at the Bescot Stadium.
SOME extra practise on corner routines during a training session on Friday paid dividends as Colchester United struck twice from corners to sink Walsall 2-0 at the Bescot Stadium, writes Carl Marston.
Manager Phil Parkinson felt that his U's team, with their big guns, could hurt the Saddlers from set pieces, and so it proved.
Parkinson enthused: “Even though it was freezing cold, the lads stayed on to practise some corners in training on Friday. It's great that this came good.
“We have scored lots of goals from corners this season, and today was no different. I just felt that Walsall, although they had lots of bright players, were not a particularly big side, and we wanted to take advantage.
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“The little full-back Craig Pead was given the job of marking big Greg Halford from corners, and twice Greg won the flick-ons that resulted in goals.
“I didn't think we were that positive in the first-half. We should have made some more forward runs, but least we got to half-time at 0-0, which gave us a chance to have a chat at half-time.
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“I felt that Greg (Halford) and Karl (Duguid) could have more joy down their left flank, and straight away at the start of the second-half Karl went on a strong run and set up a scoring chance. That set the tone.
“Just like at Brentford (also 2-0 win), we finished the match strongly, although I didn't think we played as well as at Brentford,” added Parkinson.
The U's boss recognises that other clubs are taking a strong interest in several of his successful young players - goalscorers Chris Iwelumo and Neil Danns have caught the eye in recent weeks, while Greg Halford has been linked with numerous Premiership clubs.
Parkinson also confirmed that leading scorer Iwelumo has been causing a stir in the transfer market. “I just want to keep this squad together. I have a terrific team and a terrific squad,” insisted Parkinson.
“However, I think it's great that other clubs are interested in some of my players. The directors' box was packed with scouts again.
“Chris (Iwelumo) has already proved a great signing for us. He wins all his headers and keeps getting chances. He's now got 14 goals for us, and it didn't matter that he went four games without a goal before this game.
“Pat (Baldwin) was also excellent at the back. Liam (Chilvers) was injured in training on Friday, so Pat kept his place in the team. He would have been very unlucky not to play anyway.
“Pat was immense for us, as was Wayne Brown. Wayne just keeps carrying on and on, with one great performance after another.
“New signing Tony Thorpe was not in the squad, because I felt that it would have been very harsh to have left out Gareth Williams. Gareth deserved to be on the bench, because he did get us the winner at Sheffield United to get us into the next round of the FA Cup!
“Richard (Garcia) was perhaps only 75% fit, but it's testimony to him that he was desperate to play,” added Parkinson.