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Kings of Anglia Issue 10 Magazine Offer

McGreal: 'Seven games to put it right'

PUBLISHED: 06:00 30 March 2019

Frankie Kent, set to start in the centre of defence today alongside Luke Prosser.  Picture: STEVE WALLER

Frankie Kent, set to start in the centre of defence today alongside Luke Prosser. Picture: STEVE WALLER

© Copyright Stephen Waller

Colchester United have seven games left, to save their season, starting with this afternoon's mouth-watering East Anglian derby at lowly Cambridge United.

U's keeper Dillion Barnes makes a save, although David Perkins was on hand to score from the rebound in Tranmere's 2-0 win last weekend..  Picture: STEVE WALLERU's keeper Dillion Barnes makes a save, although David Perkins was on hand to score from the rebound in Tranmere's 2-0 win last weekend.. Picture: STEVE WALLER

A poor run of just one win in seven matches, and just four points accrued from a possible 21, has seen John McGreal’s men drift out of the League Two play-off zone.

The U’s are still in the play-off race, but they must start chipping away at the current four-point gap between themselves, down in ninth, and the top seven, otherwise they are going to run out of games.

“We need to go on a good run,” admitted McGreal.

“Results have not been as good as what we would have liked. We just seem to be getting punished at the moment.

U's boss John McGreal, hoping his team can stop the rot at Cambridge todayU's boss John McGreal, hoping his team can stop the rot at Cambridge today

“We are getting into good areas and getting shots away, without scoring, while lapses of concentration at the other end are costing us.

“But there’s still everything to play for, and we have seven games to put it right.

“There have been good bits in every game, we just have to be more clinical in front of goal.

“And we know the players who could be out for the season now, so we’ve got to go with what we have got.”

Courtney Senior celebrates his goal with Sammie Szmodics, during the 3-0 home win over today's hosts Cambridge United, in mid-September. Picture: STEVE WALLERCourtney Senior celebrates his goal with Sammie Szmodics, during the 3-0 home win over today's hosts Cambridge United, in mid-September. Picture: STEVE WALLER

McGreal was referring to key midfielder Harry Pell, who has been ruled out for the season with an injured hamstring – there is just a small chance that he could make the last game, at title favourites Lincoln City, depending on the speed of his recuperation and whether the U’s are still in the promotion hunt at the start of May.

Fellow midfielder Brandon Comley will be out of action for another two or three weeks with his knee problem, so the U’s will continue to he short of options in the middle of the park.

“That’s a key area for us,” admitted McGreal. “It’s very unfortunate for Pele (Pell), and he will go for another assessment at St George’s Park (Football Association HQ) next week.

“It’s always a blow to lose players of that quality. The goals against column has been affected, because he used to sweep up in front of the back four.

Sammie Szmodics, celebrates scoring the opener in the 3-0 home win over Cambridge.Sammie Szmodics, celebrates scoring the opener in the 3-0 home win over Cambridge.

“Tom (Lapslie) came back last week (2-0 defeat by Tranmere), but he was only 50-60% after being out for six weeks.

“However, this weekend should be an exciting game, and we will have a terrific following.”

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