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Kings of Anglia Issue 9 Magazine Offer

U’s need to feel ‘at home’ this season

PUBLISHED: 07:00 11 August 2018

Sammie Szmodics, who bagged a 95th minute equaliser for the U's at Mansfield in a 1-1 draw. Picture: STEVE WALLER

Sammie Szmodics, who bagged a 95th minute equaliser for the U's at Mansfield in a 1-1 draw. Picture: STEVE WALLER

© Copyright Stephen Waller

Colchester United kick off their home campaign, of the new season, with an awkward test against a potentially dangerous Port Vale side this afternoon.

While the U’s began their 2018-19 term with a gritty goalless draw at Notts County last weekend, the free-scoring Valiants put visiting Cambridge United to the sword at Vale Park.

Target man Tom Pope, always a handful for any opposing defence, bagged a brace after summer signing Ricky Miller had broken the deadlock to sink former U’s manager Joe Dunne’s Cambridge side.

While Port Vale clearly have a goal threat, U’s boss John McGreal is banking on his side to take the initiative and get supporters off their seats with a positive, on-the-front-foot display, to lay down a marker for the season.

Certainly, the U’s will need to improve on their mediocre home record from 2017-18, which yielded just nine wins from 23 home league fixtures, with 34 points accrued. It was only the 12th best in the division, and a prime reason why John McGreal’s men missed out on the League Two play-offs by the wide margin on 13 points and six places.

Instead, the Essex club need to get back to the sort of form that graced the Community Stadium in 2016-17, when an impressive 14 home wins and a big haul of 46 points took them to within one point and one place of the play-offs.

In fact, only promoted Doncaster had a better home record in the fourth tier two years ago, the U’s finishing joint second in the ‘home table’ with Portsmouth, another club who were promoted. A dismal away record cost the U’s a possible promotion that season.

“Home form is crucial for every team, at any level, and that goes for Manchester City as well,” insisted McGreal.

“The onus will be on us, as the home team, and a good home record is vital if you want to have a successful season.

“We’ve got to get our fans on their feet in the South Stand as soon as we can, to get the atmosphere going, by putting in a good performance.

“We’re all looking forward to the game, and we’re hoping for a big crowd as well.

“Port Vale will be a real test for us, because Neil (Aspin) will be disappointed with how last season panned out. They started so well, but then fell away, a bit like we did,” added McGreal.

Tristan Nydam is keen to make the most of his loan stay in Scotland but is still keeping a firm eye on parent club Ipswich Town.

Former Ipswich Town boss Paul Hurst is the favourite in the betting as his former club Shrewsbury search for a new manager.

Former Ipswich Town goalkeeper Shane Supple has announced his retirement from football for a second time, due to a persistent hip injury.

ANDY WARREN takes a look at the changes made by Paul Lambert since his appointment as Ipswich Town manager.

In our daily feature, we take a look at what happened on this day in Ipswich Town’s history. Today features David Johnson signing for Town and Sir Bobby Robson’s testimonial match at Portman Road

Former Ipswich Town loanee Richie Wellens has been appointed Swindon Town manager, naming Noel Hunt as his assistant.

Stuart Watson and Andy Warren are back with the latest episode of the Kings of Anglia Podcast.

Jordan Spence has hailed the impact of manager Paul Lambert and believes the Blues can pull themselves away from trouble if they maintain the high standards they have set.

In our daily feature, we take a look at what happened on this day in Ipswich Town’s history. Today features wins over Arsenal and Stoke, while we also remember the late Marton Fulop.

Flynn Downes has been called into the England U20 for their game with Germany in Colchester next week.

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