Skipper upbeat despite missing play-offs

THE dream is effectively over, but Colchester United can hold their heads up high after a rip-roaring play-off showdown at Stoke City on Saturday.The U's quest for a top-six finish was on course at half-time thanks to Chris Iwelumo's 38th minute penalty but Stoke struck three times in a nine-minute spell to seal a 3-1 victory.

By Carl Marston

THE dream is effectively over, but Colchester United can hold their heads up high after a rip-roaring play-off showdown at Stoke City on Saturday.

The U's quest for a top-six finish was on course at half-time thanks to Chris Iwelumo's 38th minute penalty but Stoke struck three times in a nine-minute spell to seal a 3-1 victory.

Barring a series of freak results, United's play-off hopes are over, but skipper Karl Duguid is remaining upbeat. “It's been a great season and you never know - we could win 5-0 next weekend and still be in with a chance!” said Duguid wryly.


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The U's are three points behind sixth-placed Southampton and seventh-placed Stoke. They also have an inferior goal difference, with just one game remaining at home to Crystal Palace next Sunday.

Duguid continued: “I thought we played our best football of the season in the first half. We pinned Stoke back in their half, which is what we wanted to happen.

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“We also won the penalty to take the lead, but we really needed to be more than 1-0 up at half-time.

“A crazy 15 minutes at the start of the second-half cost us. We didn't deal with it, conceding three goals, but we can't really complain because we've had a superb season.”

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