“The games are running out” – Colchester United midfielder Joe Edwards

Joe Edwards

Joe Edwards - Credit: Archant

Joe Edwards has admitted that it will be “tough” for Colchester United to avoid relegation, during the final couple of months of the season.

U’s midfielder-cum-defender Edwards knows full well that the games are running out, and fast, for the Essex club to save themselves from a return to the fourth tier for the first time in 18 years.

Last Saturday’s 2-0 defeat, at play-off chasing Port Vale, has left Kevin Keen’s men rooted to the bottom rung, a distant 10 points adrift of safety – effectively 11 due to a woeful goal difference – with just 11 games remaining.

Furthermore, the U’s have to play six of the top seven clubs, during an extremely difficult run-in, starting with a home match against second-placed Wigan Athletic this Saturday, a team who thrashed United 5-0 at the DW Stadium last October.

Fifth-placed Millwall and leaders Burton are due to visit the Weston Homes Community Stadium next month, while the U’s will travel to fourth-placed Walsall on Saturday week, before also facing daunting trips to Coventry City (seventh) and Barnsley (sixth) during their run-in.

“It’s tough for us now,” confessed Edwards, a summer arrival from Yeovil.

“The games are running out.

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“We wanted to get back-to-back wins, after getting that first win at Bradford, which we said would be a starting point for us.

“So it’s going to be hard now.

“But while there’s still enough points, and while there are still enough games, we’ve got to keep believing and do everything in our powers to do so,” added Edwards.

A 2-1 win at Bradford last Tuesday evening, thanks to a brace from Darren Ambrose, had ended a winless streak stretching to 19 league games, which was a club record.

But normal service resumed in the Potteries last weekend, with the U’s slumping to a 2-0 defeat, making it just one win in 21 league fixtures.

“We were bright for the first few minutes at Port Vale, but it was a bad goal to concede,” explained Edwards, with reference to Theo Robinson’s ninth minute opener.

“I thought in the first half we did all right. We saw a lot of the ball, and we came back into the game.

“At half-time we were fairly positive, and hoping to build on that in the second half, but it didn’t happen. So we were very disappointed.”

Looking ahead to this Saturday’s visit of title contenders Wigan, Edwards said:

“It’s a big game against Wigan,” continued Edwards. “It’s a tough test, but we’ve done quite well against some of the bigger teams this season (away win at Sheffield United, and a home win over Gillingham), so there’s no reason why we can’t go and win that game.

“We need all the support we can get at home, and hopefully put on a performance for the fans to stick with us and hopefully give us some hope.

“They beat us quite convincingly at their place. That was one of our hardest games of the season, so we owe them one,” added Edwards.

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