U's prepare for another long trip

COLCHESTER United boss Geraint Williams is treating this week's long trips to the seaside as a “mini-tour.”The U's earned a deserved 1-1 draw from Wednesday night's visit to Southampton, and tomorrow they face another Championship test on the north-west coast at Blackpool.

By Carl Marston

COLCHESTER United boss Geraint Williams is treating this week's long trips to the seaside as a “mini-tour.”

The U's earned a deserved 1-1 draw from Wednesday night's visit to Southampton, and tomorrow they face another Championship test on the north-west coast at Blackpool.

Williams explained: “Normally we just take each game as it comes, and treat each one on its own merits. But this week has been a mini-tour for us.


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“We stayed in Southampton on Wednesday night, and had a recovery session in the pool the next morning. Now we are travelling up to Blackpool. It's important that we get the preparation just right.”

The U's made the journey up the M6 yesterday morning. They are in a confident mood after maintaining their unbeaten league record on the road with Mark Yeates' deflected equaliser at St Mary's Stadium. That followed on the heels of a 2-2 draw at Sheffield United, and a 3-0 win at Preston.

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Williams made three changes for the Southampton fixture, and it will be interesting to see whether he tinkers with his side again at Bloomfield Road.

Aidan Davison was preferred to Dean Gerken in goal, and the 39-year-old responded with an impressive display in what was only his second appearance since last November. Davison certainly had no hesitation in coming off his line to deal with crosses, even if it required a despairing punch to ease the pressure on his defence.

Centre-half Matthew Connolly served a one-match suspension on Wednesday night, following his sending-off in last weekend's 2-2 home draw against Charlton. Connolly is available again, although the Arsenal loanee might find it difficult dislodging his replacement, fellow loanee Adam Virgo.

The versatile Virgo required three stitches in a head wound during his battling display at the heart of defence against the Saints. It was the Celtic loanee's first start for the U's, and he would be unlucky to lose his place at Blackpool.

The one change that Williams might make is in attack, where Teddy Sheringham is set to return to the starting line-up after missing the trip to Southampton.

Williams explained: “Teddy (Sheringham) had a slight twinge in his hamstring.”

A fourth draw in six league outings propelled the U's up to 14th in the Championship table. They are also the highest scorers in the division, with 12 goals, but it's all very tight at the moment with just four points separating third-placed Charlton from Norwich in 19th.

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