“The players have got to lift themselves” – John Ward

THE boss cannot be responsible for everything.

And Colchester United manager John Ward is adamant that it is the players who must “lift themselves,” after last weekend’s capitulation at Tranmere Rovers.

Ward will have a say, of course, but it is the U’s players who must ensure that last Saturday’s 4-0 defeat at Prenton Park, particularly the second-half flop, is just a one-off.

Whether this form of self-help is successful will be answered as the U’s face up to another tough away test at Brentford on Saturday.

“The players have got to lift them themselves,” insisted Ward.

“It’s fine to say that I’ve got to do it, but I’ve got some experienced, grown men in that dressing room, so if they are looking at me all the time to motivate them, then that is not encouraging!

“But I’ve worked with most of them before, and they’ve always been prepared to roll up their sleeves and have a right good go, the next time around.

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“We’ve had our ups and downs, but we’ve always been able to recover from a setback in my three years at the club.

“They’ve managed to dig in, and we have got to dig in at Brentford again certainly. I’ve got to lift myself, but the players have got to lift themselves,” added Ward.

The U’s suffered heavy 5-1 and 6-1 home defeats to MK Dons and Stevenage respectively last season, as well as losing 4-1 at Bury. But they never endured back-to-back heavy defeats.

Ward is now hoping there is no quickfire repeat at Brentford, especially as the U’s are down in 20th spot after their first four games.

“I’ll tell you this weekend, whether that was a one-off. I really don’t know, but I hope it is,” insisted Ward.

“That’s my squad and that’s my group. I have no new faces to bring in, because the club is not able to do that.

“But there is enough knowledge and experience in that group to make it a one-off. They’ve got to make sure that it is.”

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