U's are no mugs - Burley
THE memories are still painful for Southampton boss George Burley after his former club Colchester United claimed a notable double last season.The U's 2-1 triumph at St Mary's Stadium last March almost cost the Saints a play-off berth.
By Carl Marston
THE memories are still painful for Southampton boss George Burley after his former club Colchester United claimed a notable double last season.
The U's 2-1 triumph at St Mary's Stadium last March almost cost the Saints a play-off berth. In the event, Burley's boys scraped into the top six but lost to Derby County (another of his former clubs) in a semi-final penalty shoot-out.
Tonight, Burley will try again to plot the downfall of his old club - he was in charge of the U's during the second half of 1995 before his shock resignation on Christmas Eve and his controversial switch to Ipswich Town.
The U's and Saints are locked together on six points from five games.
It will be a tall order for Geraint Williams' men to record another double over their more illustrious opponents, beginning with a win on the south coast tonight, but Burley is taking nothing for granted.
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“Colchester are no mugs and we will have to be on top of our game to beat them,” confessed Burley last night.
“I know their manager Geraint Williams very well. He is a former player of mine [at Ipswich Town] and he has done a good job there. It is no surprise to me that he has done so well in management.”
The Ipswich connection will run deep tonight. In addition to both managers, the Saints defensive duo of Chris Makin and Jermaine Wright are both former Town players who could start.
The U's hero from last season's visit to Southampton, hot-shot Jamie Cureton, is, of course, now plying his trade at Norwich City. Cureton scored both goals in the win at St Mary's Stadium, and also netted in the 2-0 win at Layer Road from the previous October.
But Williams still has several attacking options. Kevin Lisbie has bagged three-in-three, and is set to start either alongside either Teddy Sheringham or Clive Platt. Sheringham has started every league game to date, though he could be rested for this midweek clash.