Tony Humes has transformed Colchester United into a hard team to beat

An all-smiling Tony Humes

An all-smiling Tony Humes - Credit: Su Anderson

Colchester United are becoming a hard team to beat, under new manager Tony Humes.

The former Ipswich Town and Wrexham centre-half has instilled a new-found resilience in the U’s, after a difficult start to the season which featured five defeats in the first six league and cup games.

Tomorrow, Humes take his U’s side to bottom club Crewe, looking to build on last Saturday’s goalless draw against play-off candidates Bradford City, which secured a third clean-sheet in four games.

Humes explained: “We’ve been giving the team the confidence to go out and play, and the biggest thing we have instilled is making ourselves harder to beat.

“If we build from that structure, and we build from that strength, then we have got an opportunity in games.

“It all comes down to better organisation off the ball, that’s the main reason, giving players that extra responsibility to work as a unit and a team, rather than just individuals, when out of possession.

“It’s been pretty basic stuff, but they have bought into it, as has been borne out in three clean-sheets in four.

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“I’m a strong believer that the biggest thing in any game is to go in making yourselves hard to beat.

“You’ve got to have that strength and that resilience to not get beaten in a game too early, because once you are out of the game, it’s really hard to get the team back up.”

Humes looks set to name an unchanged side at Crewe, from last Saturday’s 0-0 draw against Bradford.

Attacking midfielder Sammie Szmodics remains sidelined by an ankle injury, while skipper Magnus Okuonghae serves the third of a four-match suspension

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