Swindon Town v Colchester United: big match preview

Sammie Szmodics, in goal-celebration mood against Exeter, will be looking to continue his good partn

Sammie Szmodics, in goal-celebration mood against Exeter, will be looking to continue his good partnership with Mikael Mandron, right, up front at Swindon. Picture: STEVE WALLER - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Colchester United have every incentive to continue their fine recent run at Swindon Town tomorrow night – win in Wiltshire and they will be propelled into the League Two play-off zone.

John McGreal’s men would leapfrog five places in the table, up to the fifth spot, at least for a few hours, if they could record a fourth away win of the season.

It will not be easy, against a Swindon side currently in eighth spot, ahead of the U’s on goal difference, but David Flitcroft’s men have lost their last four matches, and the U’s can point to a fine recent record at the County Ground – no defeats in their last four visits.

Furthermore, despite their lofty position, the Robins have only won three of their 10 matches at home. In fact, only basement dwellers Barnet have won fewer games on home turf.

“Performances have been going well and the lads feel refreshed after the good (3-1) win over Exeter,” enthused boss McGreal.

“I don’t look at the table too much, at this stage, but having said that, we do have our targets that we want to hit. We just try to look after ourselves.

“We’ve been in good form, and we want to continue that good form into Friday night.

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“Swindon have had a blip or two of late, but it will still be a tough game. They are a big club in our league, and it’s been up to (manager) David (Flitcroft) to manage expectations since their relegation last season. They will be expecting to bounce back straight away.

“We have benefited from having a very settled team of late, although I’ve now got to make a change due to Ryan Inniss’ injury (sore shoulder). I’ve been toying with the idea of formations and personnel during the week, and looking at the options we have.

“We have set some very high standards over the last 12 games (just two defeats) and we want to maintain those standards.

“Even though we lost our last away game (2-1 at Notts County) we were happy with our performance that day,” added McGreal.

Tomorrow evening is still too soon for striker Kurtis Guthrie to return to the squad, following his long-term ankle injury. With the exception of a few minutes, during an unsuccessful comeback two months ago, Guthrie has been out of action since February.

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