U’s hope to ruin Sol’s big day

Sammie Smzodics, the U's joint leading scorer with eight goals, will be looking to add to that taly

Sammie Smzodics, the U's joint leading scorer with eight goals, will be looking to add to that taly against Macclesfield today. Picture: STEVE WALLER - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

High-flying Colchester United will be looking to ruin Sol Campbell’s big day, and so cement their position in the League Two automatic promotion zone.

The U’s, who have suffered just two home league defeats from 10 starts, entertain a Macclesfield Town side who are rock bottom of the Football League, although the Cheshire club are showing signs of life following recent back-to-back wins, only their second and third victories of the campaign.

Ex-England, Tottenham and Arsenal centre-half Campbell officially took over the managerial reins at Macclesfield 11 days ago, on November 27.

He was in the stands to watch his new charges win 1-0 at Exeter City that night, the Silkmen’s first away win of the season, although he did not pick the team that day.

Campbell’s first match as manager was in front of a crowd of just 1,126, at St James Park, as Newcastle United’s Under-21s beat Macclesfield 5-3 on penalties after a 1-1 draw in a Checkatrade Trophy fixture.

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But today, the 44-year-old will lead out his Macclesfield side for the first time in a league match, at Colchester – by contrast, his opposite number John McGreal has been the U’s boss for two-and-a-half years.

“It will be Sol’s first league match in charge, but we will try not to think about that. We know there will be a lot of furore surrounding it,” said McGreal, who will be taking charge of his 128th match as U’s manager.

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“As usual we have prepped our own team, because it’s all about what we do.

“Football management is getting harder and harder, with money getting involved in all levels of the game, from Manchester City down to our level. Sol will know what to expect, just as I knew what to expect when I first started.”

The U’s last outing was a 1-0 win at Forest Green Rovers, last Tuesday week.

“We will be looking to pick up from where we left off,” continued McGreal. “The last two performances have been very good, taking four points from two tough games, especially after we had played so well against Exeter (1-1 home draw), where I thought we should have won the game.

“To follow that up with a solid 1-0 win away at Forest Green Rovers, another good team, was terrific and now it will be nice to be back home again.”

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