Tierney admits U's not good enough

COLCHESTER United defender Marc Tierney admits that the U's “have not been good enough” to mount a sustained push for promotion this season.

Carl Marston

Colchester soccer preview (with Tierney pic)

By Carl Marston

COLCHESTER United defender Marc Tierney admits that the U's “have not been good enough” to mount a sustained push for promotion this season.

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The mid-table U's visit Leyton Orient this afternoon, a massive 13 points adrift of the play-offs but a healthy 15 points clear of the relegation zone.

There are only five fixtures remaining, so the U's will have to content themselves with putting pressure on their various opponents, who occupy both ends of the table. They still have to face the O's, Brighton, Hereford and Yeovil, who are all battling against relegation, while also hosting promotion hopefuls Peterborough.

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Tierney is focusing on a strong finish, but he can't help thinking that the U's missed a trick this season.

“It's frustrating, because looking back over our recent results there were certainly games where we should have done better,” insisted Tierney.

“For example, we should have beaten both Crewe and Southend at home, but we ended up getting no points rather than six (both 1-0 defeats). So I suppose we only have ourselves to blame.

“We have not been good enough to see off some of the teams that we should have been capable of, and we have to remember that the table does not lie.

“You can't say that we are better than where we are in the league, because that isn't true.

“However, when I first arrived (from Shrewsbury in November), the main target was just staying in this division. At that point, promotion did not look a possibility, although I knew all about the quality in the squad, so I thought we might have a reasonable chance of getting in the play-offs.

“We needed to go on a good run, and we did that, but we couldn't keep it going. We have ended up falling just short.

“It was always going to be a hard task to make the play-offs from where we started from,” added Tierney.

The U's were in 20th position before the 23-year-old made his debut, in a 2-1 win at Northampton on November 29. That was early on in a run that featured just one defeat in 12 league games.

The first half of February really quashed the U's play-off hopes. The terrific run ended with three defeats on the bounce, to Tranmere and Southend at home, and away at Walsall.

But Tierney is not going to dwell on the past. The no-nonsense left-back, who has only missed three games since his arrival from Shropshire, is not thinking about his summer holidays.

“Nothing changes for me. The play-offs might be beyond us, but I will still prepare the same way for each game,” continued Tierney.

“People will still be coming to watch us. We want to finish in the top 10, maybe even the top eight, so that we can salvage what we can from this season. We must stay professional for the rest of the season.

“I will not be dropping my standards, and we won't be letting anyone else either, because we are all playing for our places for this season and next. The manager will be watching us closely.

“He has already told us that he won't be settling for mid-table mediocrity next season. He wants us to push on, which is the reason I signed in the first place!

“We have already showed that we are capable of pulling some very big results, like our away wins at Leeds, Millwall, Carlisle and Oldham. We want to carry that forward into next season,” added Tierney.

The U's will again be without the injured trio of defender Paul Reid, midfielder Johnnie Jackson and striker Steven Gillespie for this afternoon's trip to Leyton Orient.

But otherwise manager Paul Lambert has no new injury concerns.

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