The only way is up, insists Colchester United boss John McGreal

U's boss John McGreal at Yeovil on Saturday after the final whistle

U's boss John McGreal at Yeovil on Saturday after the final whistle

Colchester United have almost hit rock-bottom, so the only way is up at the ailing Essex club.

The U’s are on the ropes, after a horrendous run of results that has seen them slump to 91st place in the Football League – just over 10 years ago, the same club were celebrating a highest ever finish of 30th in the football ladder, with 10th spot in the Championship.

New boss John McGreal has been unable to halt the slide.

Relegated from League One last season, the U’s are on a current run of no wins in 13 matches, and just four points gathered from a possible 30 in their last 10 league fixtures.

Tonight, they will try and stop the rot again, away at Cheltenham Town, who are just one point and two places ahead of the U’s.


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“There’s only one way for us to go, and that’s up. There’s only one place below us,” explained manager McGreal.

“We’ve had a few gut-wrenching moments this season, and the last one (2-1 defeat at Yeovil) was particularly tough to take, given the predicament that we are in.

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“It’s things that have happened, not only this season – it’s a common problem that we have got, that we need to eradicate from this football club.

“Tony (Humes), Joe (Dunne) and Kevin (Keen) tried hard to eradicate it as well, before me,” added McGreal.

McGreal was referring to his predecessors on the U’s hot seat, and the common thread of the club going on long winless runs, which reached a new low with the club record 19 league games without a win last term.

“We have to regroup quickly, for Tuesday night,” continued McGreal.

“We’ve got to dig deep, work even harder and dig even deeper.

“We’re in the bottom two, the league doesn’t lie, but I’m not going to be talking about relegation, or this, that, and the other.

“I’m going to stay positive, the players are on the floor after Saturday, but we are all in it together.”

The U’s were leading hosts Yeovil 1-0 on Saturday, going into the final five minutes of the match, before goals from substitutes Francois Zoko and Tahvon Campbell completed a remarkable turnaround.

So suddenly, after sitting in the top six in mid-September, the U’s find themselves second-from-bottom, with only Exeter City keeping them off the basement.

If the U’s lose at Whaddon Road tonight, and Exeter gain at least a point from their trip to Leyton Orient, then McGreal’s men will be rock bottom.

Then there are only two directions the U’s can head in – on the way up the league, or staying put and ultimately suffering relegation into the world of non-league.

At least they have the boost of Owen Garvan joining up with the squad tonight, for the first time this season following injury.

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