‘Top seven should be our minimum target’ – Colchester United’s Tom Eastman

Tom Eastman connects with a header during the FA Cup defeat to Oxford City. Picture: PAGEPIX

Tom Eastman connects with a header during the FA Cup defeat to Oxford City. Picture: PAGEPIX - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

Tom Eastman insists that Colchester United should look beyond just scraping into the top seven.

Tom Eastman wheels away to celebrate after scoring against Crewe. Picture: STEVE WALLER

Tom Eastman wheels away to celebrate after scoring against Crewe. Picture: STEVE WALLER - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

The U’s will rise into the League Two play-off zone, at least for a few hours, if they can win at high-flying rivals Swindon Town tonight.

But centre-half Eastman believes that the U’s should ultimately be looking to break into the top three automatic promotion places.

“We want to keep our good form going,” explained Eastman, with regards the U’s run of just two defeats in 12 league games.

“We had a break before the Exeter game (3-1 win), and we managed to pick it up again.

“Swindon will be a tough team to beat. They were relegated last season, and it’s always a tough place to go. It’s a massive pitch and a nice stadium.

“But we have been picking up points both at home and on the road, which helps to breed confidence throughout the team.

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“It’s still a little bit early in the season, before half-way, but we want to get into that top seven.

“But in my mind, top seven should be our minimum target. It’s nice to be in-and-around it, but we want to be aiming even higher than that.

“Swindon are one of our rivals up there, so to beat them would be a big result.”

Eastman will again be part of a strong U’s defence this evening, although fellow-centre-half Ryan Inniss will miss out with a shoulder injury.

“Losing Ryan (Inniss) is a big blow, but I’m sure we can cope,” continued Eastman.

“He’s been a big player for us over the last two months, and has done really well for us.

“I think we are stronger as a team with him in it. He’s a top player, but then I think the whole defence has done well, not just Ryan.

“I’m sure we can adapt. We changed it a couple of times when Ryan went off last weekend, and Jacko (Ryan Jackson) did well in the back three towards the end of the match.

“I think we are a stronger squad than last season. That’s down to a lot of the younger lads growing in confidence, and in maturity, and gaining some leadership qualities.

“The team has almost picked itself in recent weeks, up until Ryan’s recent injury. And I’m sure we wont be changing too much.”

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