U’s enter crucial last fortnight

Joe Dunne

Joe Dunne - Credit: Archant

COLCHESTER United are facing up to the most important last fortnight in the club’s history for many years.

You have to look back to the all-conquering 2005-06 season to find an equally crucial last two weeks.

And seven years ago the situation was very different reasons, with the U’s requiring points to achieve automatic promotion to the Championship, rather than needing a few more points to stave off relegation.

In fact, the U’s have never been in more danger, of slipping back into the fourth tier of the Football League, since they clinched promotion from the old Division Three in 1998.

Mick Wadsworth did well to complete a relegation escape act in 1999, and his successor Steve Whitton was always having to work hard to keep the U’s out of the bottom four.

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But this time around, the Essex club remain in trouble, with just three games remaining.

That’s why tonight’s home game, against promotion-chasing MK Dons, is such a key contest.

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“It’s the biggest two weeks in the club’s season for many, many years,” insisted manager Joe Dunne.

“And I’m the manager of it, so I’ll make sure we are ready.

“MK Dons are going for promotion, and they are capable of beating us by six or seven, if we want to defend like we did at Notts County (3-1 defeat on Saturday) for some of the goals.

“If we are not careful, they could beat us heavily, so we have to roll up our sleeves.

“MK Dons are a good side, who have just got beaten (by Leyton Orient), so they will be wanting to bounce back.

“But I am ready for a reaction, and I want a reaction,” added Dunne.

The U’s are still five points clear of the drop zone, which is a healthy buffer at this stage of the season.

And there is a chance that they could be completely safe by the end of this evening, if they beat MK Dons and Scunthorpe lose at Bury.

But the chances are, the relegation battle will rumble on into the final two fixtures.

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