U’s aim to rediscover passing game

COLCHESTER United manager John Ward looks set to change his formation today in an attempt to get his side’s passing game going again for the visit of Charlton.

The U’s started the season with a 4-5-1/4-3-3 formation which provided some attractive, fluid and solid football without a killer instinct.

And after a string of draws Ward switched to a 4-4-1-1 formation which started producing more goals and wins but has also led to more defeats.

And following lacklustre home games against Swindon Supermarine (the U’s making hard work of a 1-0 win over the non-leaguers) and Yeovil (a bore goalless draw) Ward has indicated that it might be time for another change.

“Perhaps when we went into the stoppage period perhaps we hadn’t played quite the way we want,” said Ward, today’s game being the U’s first in three weeks due to postponements.

“Maybe this period has let us come back, I certainly hope so. Whenever we’ve been out playing we’ve been trying to get the passing game going and make sure the ball gets shifted quickly because that’s something we started the season doing really well.

“It’s just alluded us in the two or three games, but it’s something we’ve been emphasising more and more the players to keep it on the floor.”

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Asked whether he’d considered a switch back to the early-season formation, Ward added: “I’d like to consider that and have a look at it, especially given the view I have on Charlton because they are a tough nut to crack.

“We’re going to have work hard with our movement and passing to try and get through them and get the ball past their goalkeeper.

“I want us to play that way whatever formation we play though. I don’t think shapes make that much different, you’ve got to pass the ball whatever formation you use.”

The U’s will be without right-back Brian Wilson today, and the next two months, after he tore ankle ligaments on the training pitch earlier this week. In addition, Magnus Okuonghae (ankle) and Tom Williams (groin) are both still out,

Charlton, who drew 1-1 at 10-man Brighton on Wednesday night to move three points above the seventh-place U’s, are without midfielder Joe Anyinsah after he was sent-off in that match. That may see Ipswich Town loanee Lee Martin restored to the first team alongside ex-U’s midfielder Johnnie Jackson.

– For live match updates this afternoon, follow Stuart_Watson on www.twitter.com.

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