U’s have lost the fear factor

COLCHESTER United boss Aidy Boothroyd concedes that his side have lost some of their fear factor.

COLCHESTER United boss Aidy Boothroyd concedes that his side have lost some of their fear factor.

The U’s have been without powerful striker Kayode Odejayi for the last six games after he suffered ankle ligament damage at Walsall.

The Nigerian will be missing once again at Hartlepool today – as will midfielder Anthony Wordsworth who serves the second game of his two-match suspension.

The absent duo both have 10 goals to their name this season and Boothroyd admits that they are big losses as his side desperately try to battle their way back into the top six.

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“We’ve lost a couple of players recently and perhaps the ones that have come in have not been quite as intimidating for the opposition,” admitted the U’s boss, whose side will attempt to halt a run of five successive away defeats today.

“I can’t fault the character, attitude and application of the players though. They’ve been absolutely fantastic.

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“The way they’ve responded to me, the staff and each other has been brilliant. There is a real willingness to win and be successful.

“One area we need to improve on though is our discipline. We’ve had Anthony Wordsworth scoring a goal (against Swindon) and then getting booked for over-celebrating which is very, very, very irritating.

“We’ve then had a player getting injured in the next game (John-Joe O’Toole) – which is not Woody’s fault – but had he been available he would have probably been playing and it might not have happened.

“I don’t like players getting booked for dissent. It irritates me beyond belief.

“Anthony is a good player, he’s got 10 goals this season, but there’s no point in me sitting here eulogising about him at the moment if I can’t play him.”

Boothroyd, who clashed on the touchline with counterpart Phil Parkinson on Tuesday night, then added: “I know I can be guilty of that too though so I will also have to get myself in order as well.”

Today Colchester face a Hartlepool side that have pulled away from the relegation zone in recent weeks with three wins from their last four.

Manager Chris Turner doesn’t want his players to relax just yet though. He said: “Aidy and John Ward, who I know very well, are two very good experienced coaches.

“Obviously they have just slipped out of the top six at the moment so that makes the game on Saturday a massive one for them.

“I’m sure they will have their players right up for it against us because they’ll view it as a must-win.

“That means we have to make sure we’re feeling the same way and are ready to battle and scrap for everything because we need the points too.

“It will be a different kind of challenge to the one we faced on Tuesday (Hartlepool beat rock-bottom Stockport 3-0) but it’s one we’re all looking forward to and are confident we can win.”

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