U’s could make changes at Cheltenham

Harry Pell, who netted a second-half equaliser for Colchester at Tranmere. Picture: STEVE WALLER

Harry Pell, who netted a second-half equaliser for Colchester at Tranmere. Picture: STEVE WALLER - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Colchester United, beaten for the first time in the league last weekend, will be looking to bounce straight back at Cheltenham Town today.

The U’s have slipped to sixth in the League Two table, following a 2-1 loss at home to Northampton Town, but they will be keen to show that this was only a blip.

Boss John McGreal had selected the same starting XI for the fourth league game running, although a few changes might be in order at Whaddon Road.

Midfielder Brandon Comley, who is away on international duty with Montserrat next week, preparing for a match against El Salvador in a CONCACAF Nations League qualifier next Sunday, could come into the reckoning, while the likes of strikes Luke Norris and Mikael Mandron are also pushing for starts.

“Things can change in a heart-beat at this club, in terms of injuries,” explained McGreal.

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“Northampton did enough in the first 50 minutes to get a result against us, but we didn’t execute when we got our chances. We want to try and reverse that.

“We’ve got players like Brandon Comley, Luke Norris and Mikael Mandron, all pushing for a start from the bench. They’re looking for a chance to show what they can do.

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“You don’t get players knocking on your door asking why they are not in the team, when the team is winning, so it’s been fairly quiet on that score.

“But if you get beaten every week, then certain individuals will be knocking on the door asking me why they are not playing. We will need everyone.”

The U’s drew 2-2 at Cheltenham in the Carabao Cup less than three weeks ago, before bowing out of the competition 6-5 on penalties.

It was a quick return to his former club for Harry Pell, and the U’s midfielder is ready for another encounter with his old Cheltenham team-mates today.

“Cheltenham had a good result last weekend (1-0 win at Cambridge), so we need to go there and be professional,” insisted summer recruit Pell.

“We gave it a go in the last 20 minutes against Northampton, and it’s so important as a group not to get too negative about it.

“We will dust ourselves down and go again. It’s a long gruelling season, and we will need a good squad.

“You are always going to have off days, and it’s important to keep picking up points when you are not playing well.”

Referring to Comley’s international call-up, McGreal said: “It’s a good opportunity for Brandon, to play international football. It’s brilliant for him, and it will put him in the spotlight.”

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