Sean Murray all set for Colchester United’s ‘must-win’ game at troubled Leyton Orient
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Sean Murray has admitted that tomorrow’s must-win game at already-relegated Leyton Orient will feel like a Cup tie.
Colchester United’s midfielder recognises that U’s must beat the O’s, to stand any chance of making the League Two play-offs, and at least keep their top-seven hopes alive going into the final weekend of the season.
John McGreal’s men face a tall order, especially as they are four places as well as three points adrift of the play-off zone, with just six points up for grabs.
But Murray, who signed for the U’s in January from League One strugglers Swindon Town – who have since been relegated to the fourth tier themselves – does not want all the hard work of this season to go to waste.
“It’s simple really – we just have to focus on our own game, no matter what the circumstances of the other team,” explained Murray, with reference to Leyton Orient’s plight, both on-and-off the pitch.
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“We just have to go out there and play like we have done, over the last three or four weeks, and win the game. We can then see what happens from there.
“I think we should have got more points than what we have down from our recent matches, especially looking at the stats from some of those games.
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“We were very disappointed to concede late on at Morecambe (1-1 draw), and in the Plymouth game (0-0 draw last Saturday) we had more than 20 shots to their seven, so that showed how that game went as well.
“We could have had more points, certainly, but we are in this position now and we have got to deal with it.
“I think it will be like a Cup tie. We have to win the game, just as we’d have to win to get through to the next round of a Cup competition, otherwise we’d be knocked out.
“It’s a big game, because we want to keep our play-off hopes alive. We have worked very hard to get into this position all season, it’s what we have all been working towards.
“But we have still got to be cautious. We don’t want to concede goals, so it won’t just be all about attacking. Leyton Orient will have young players maybe playing their first games, and they don’t know who will be watching,” added Murray.
Leyton Orient’s relegation out of the Football League was finalised by last Saturday’s 3-0 defeat at Crewe, which left the East London strugglers nine points adrift of safety with just two games to go.
So for the first time in 112 years, the O’s will not be a Football League club next season, and even their short-term future as a National League club is far from guaranteed due to the financial problems off the pitch as well.
There was a long delay before the Leyton Orient staff received their wages for March, from the club owner, Francesco Becchetti – they were only paid at the start of this week.
The O’s were also the subject of a recent winding-up petition, brought by HM Revenue & Customs over unpaid taxes, and they still have debts hanging over them.
Meanwhile, O’s fans have been encouraged to bring whistles, banners and posters to tomorrow’s match, so it is set to be a noisy and perhaps unsettling atmosphere at Brisbane Road.
“We haven’t really mentioned what might happen on Saturday, with regards the Leyton Orient fans,” explained Murray.
“We can’t change the way we go about the game, and we can’t let it change the way we play. We can’t control what else is going to happen, so we must just go there and do our job”
Murray had not been enjoying his football at his former club Swindon, before his switch to the U’s during the January transfer window.
And the 23-year-old, after being sent off on his U’s debut at Blackpool, has not looked back over the last three months.
“From coming from Swindon to here, I’m enjoying my football. I love playing for Colchester, and I hope to carry that on,” enthused Murray.
“The whole mood around the place at Swindon was not great there. The boys were coming into training wondering what they were going to do each day – is it going to be enjoyable?
“We were then going into the matches having a fight (to stay up) every time. We’re in a fight at Colchester as well, but for a very different reason. We are in a fight to go up.”
Murray has yet to score in his first 14 appearances for the U’s.
”Personally I need to get on the score-sheet. I need to score my first goal for Colchester United, and hopefully it will be an important one,” added Murray.