U’s aim to show Huddersfield no mercy
COLCHESTER United manager John Ward hopes his side will show no mercy against visitors Huddersfield Town today.
The tale of the U’s season so far has gone something like this: completely outplay opponents, create a hatful of chances, fail to kill the game of when on top and then get punished for their lack of clinicality.
Last Saturday’s game at MK Dons was the best example yet as the U’s produced some scintillating football only to have Magnus Okuonghae’s solitary goal to show for their efforts at the break. Sure enough, they were pegged back to a draw from a winning position for the sixth time this season.
And it was the same old story on Tuesday night when, having been well on top against Wycombe for the majority of a Johnstone’s Paint Trophy tie, they were punished for not taking a plethora of chances when the League Two side scored two late counter-attacking goals.
“That’s obviously an area we need to improve upon,” said Ward, whose side are still unbeaten in League One following 10 games but have now dropped 12 points from winning positions.
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“We had over 20 efforts on goal on Tuesday night, over half of those were on target and there were other opportunities we couldn’t quite get on the end of.
“It’s becoming the same old story of not being able to put the ball in the back of the net, but as I’ve said before that’s the hardest thing to do in football.
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“We’ve worked a lot of this in training this week. Sometimes it has just been one player, one coach, a bag of balls and an empty goal, while other times we have tried to recreate crossing and shooting positions from match scenarios. Hopefully we can now carry that work through into Saturday.
“I’m happy that we are sitting here talking about finishing rather than creating chances. They’ve just got to keep believing in what they are doing because we are not in the top six by accident.”
The U’s boss admitted earlier this week that he has a big decision to make regarding his goalkeeper selection today after reigning player of the season Ben Williams replaced in-form stand-in Mark Cousins in midweek.
Colchester will also hand late fitness tests to the defensive trio of Tom Williams (calf), Paul Reid (leg) and Brian Wilson (ankle), all of whom only returned to training on Thursday.
– For two-page match preview of the U’s visit of Huddersfield see today’s EADT. For live match updates this afternoon follow Stuart_Watson on www.twitter.com.