So how good are the U’s?

JUST how good are Colchester United?

JUST how good are Colchester United?

We know already that John Ward’s men are not on a par with the ‘big four’ in League One – Charlton, Sheffield United, Sheffield Wednesday and Huddersfield.

The U’s have played all four, and lost to all four, but that still leaves two play-off spots up for grabs this season.

The early contenders are MK Dons, Notts County, Tranmere, Brentford and Carlisle.

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United brushed aside Notts County 4-2 last weekend, in a rip-roaring performance at the Weston Homes Community Stadium, and they held Brentford to a 1-1 draw at Griffin Park in mid-September.

Now the U’s take on the other three in their next three league fixtures, beginning with today’s tough test at Tranmere, a side who have lost just one of their last seven games.

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The Dons are the visitors to Essex in a fortnight, and the month ends with a long trip to Cumbria to take on Carlisle.

By the beginning of December, then, we should be closer to answering the question – ‘how good are the U’s?’

Top six candidates, or mid-table also-rans?

New recruit Casey Thomas, signed on loan from Swansea City on Friday morning, goes straight into the squad for today’s trip to Prenton Park. Striker Thomas will probably start on the bench.

Fellow striker Steven Gillespie (tweaked hamstring) and centre-half Pat Baldwin (fractured toe) are definite non-starters.

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