U's boss content with a point

COLCHESTER United boss Phil Parkinson was content with last night's goalless draw against struggling Walsall, even though his side missed a golden chance to leapfrog Southend into top spot.

By Carl Marston

COLCHESTER United boss Phil Parkinson was content with last night's goalless draw against struggling Walsall, even though his side missed a golden chance to leapfrog Southend into top spot.

Southend's defeat at fellow high-fliers Brentford meant that the U's would have been the new League One leaders, if they had chalked up a 13th successive home win at the expense of the Saddlers.

But they endured a frustrating night at Layer Road, and the net result is that the top six teams are all bunching up together.


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“This could be a very important point for us, come the end of the season,” Parkinson insisted last night. “A few years ago, this is the sort of game we would have lost to a late goal, playing against a side who closed us down quickly.

“We were not allowed to play great football. We didn't hit the target enough times, but I cannot fault my players for attitude or effort. The ball would just not quite fall for us.

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“I thought Walsall were excellent. They rolled up their sleeves and worked hard. They played the sort of football that could get them out of trouble.

“We hadn't come across such a side for a while. They were very difficult to play against. I was very impressed with them, and I told the lads at half-time that they were involved in a big battle. I felt that we could take advantage when Walsall began to tire in the last 15 minutes, and I can't remember Aidan (Davison) having a save to make in the second-half. If one chance had gone in, then I'm sure the floodgates would have opened. But we didn't get that one break,” Parkinson added.

The U's can now look forward to Sunday's lucrative FA Cup fifth-round tie at Premiership leaders Chelsea.

Parkinson does not believe that this glamorous trip to Stamford Bridge has had a detrimental effect on the U's league form, or their performance last night.

“Since the draw was made, and we were paired with Chelsea, we have got seven points out of 12, which is a good haul,” Parkinson continued.

“We have had two wins and a draw, so I don't think that the lads have been affected by the Chelsea game. They weren't allowed to talk about Sunday's game until after the Walsall match, but now they will be able to give as many interviews as they like.

“It will be a great day for the club, but looking in the long-term this match against Walsall was a bigger one than the Chelsea cup-tie,” he concluded.

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