Symons striving to secure manager's job

COLCHESTER United caretaker manager Kit Symons admits that he feels like a “dead man walking,” as he strives to secure his job full-time over the next week or so.

Carl Marston

COLCHESTER United caretaker manager Kit Symons admits that he feels like a “dead man walking,” as he strives to secure his job full-time over the next week or so.

There is no doubt that the U's have improved their performances, since Symons took over the reins on a temporary basis following Geraint Williams' departure last Monday week.

But the former Wales, Manchester City and Crystal Palace defender knows that he needs to gain results, as well as inspire decent displays, if he is to be appointed the permanent new boss by chairman Robbie Cowling.

His debut was marked by a blistering 4-3 win at Tranmere, but the U's could not make it two wins on the bounce for a first time in nearly 18 months when sliding to a 1-0 home defeat at the hands of new league leaders Leicester City on Tuesday night.

Now Symons must hope for better luck on Saturday. And the U's really need to beat visiting Bristol Rovers, for a number of reasons - to give Symons' job prospects a boost, to climb up the table, and to finally notch the club's first ever win at their new Weston Homes Community Stadium.

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The U's have drawn two and lost two of their first four fixtures at their new ground.

“I'm really enjoying it as caretaker manager, and I can't really get too worried about what will happen. What will be, will be,” admitted Symons.

“I feel like I'm a dead man walking at the moment, but I'll be giving it my best shot and hoping to get the job on a permanent basis.

“The chairman (Robbie Cowling) has been fantastic. He's backed me in everything that I have wanted to do so far.

“To be honest, there was not a lot wrong under George (Geraint Williams). I just needed to freshen up things a little, by trying to come up with things to change.

“For instance, the chairman backed me in getting Gary Borrowdale on loan (from Coventry). I'm a great believer in balance in a team, and Gary gives us a left-footer at left-back.

“I can't ask for anymore from the chairman. He has given me the tools to do the job, and I am convinced that it will all come together. We're not far off,” added Symons.

The U's are in 17th spot, following the defeat by Leicester. Lloyd Dyer's 49th minute strike was enough to propel the Foxes to the top, above Oldham and Scunthorpe, although Mark Yeates was agonisingly close to a late equaliser when his 30-yard free-kick struck the inside of a post.

Yet in truth, Leicester could have won by a bigger margin, but for some superb goalkeeping from Dean Gerken.

“Leicester are an excellent team and are amongst the favourites to win the league. They have a far bigger budget than us,” continued Symons.

“I was pleased with our attitude and the performance, though I felt we lacked a bit of belief that we could beat them.

“Dean (Gerken) was outstanding. I was disappointed with his slip last Friday night (letting in Andy Taylor's free-kick), but I told him that these things soon turn themselves around.

“In the end, it was just a lick of paint that denied us a goal (Yeates' free-kick). We have now hit the woodwork three times in a row at home. A little bit of luck would be nice, but I'm not bemoaning it. Our luck will turn.

“For the first time, this new stadium felt like home against Leicester. The crowd got behind us, and they clapped us off at half-time even though we had never really got going into top gear. I thank the crowd for that,” added Symons.