U’s skipper Brian Wilson’s prediction
- Credit: Archant
COLCHESTER United skipper, Brian Wilson, is predicting a very different type of season next term.
The U’s were embroiled in a relegation battle for virtually the whole of this campaign, and those fears of dropping into League Two were only quashed by Saturday’s 2-0 win at Carlisle.
Needing a point from their final day outing to Cumbria, second-half headed goals by Gavin Massey and Tom Eastman kept the U’s in League One, and condemned Scunthorpe to relegation.
Wilson only missed five league games during the whole of the season, and so experienced at first-hand all the trials and tribulations of these last nine months.
And he certainly doesn’t want to go through the same marathon anguish next year.
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“We’ve stayed up, but we need to kick on next season,” insisted Wilson.
“I know what League Two is all about, and I didn’t want to go back there.
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“The players we’ve got here, they are not League Two players by a big margin. And the way the gaffer wants us to play, it would have been difficult to play in that league.
“But we did what I always wanted us to do. We’ve stayed up, and as a result we should be so much better and stronger in different areas next year.
“It’s a learning curve to take from this season, and carry into next year.
“I’m 100% behind the gaffer. I believe in what he is doing and I believe next year will be totally different,” added Wilson.
Wilson has no plans to go anywhere. The 29-year-old signed a two-year extension to his contract last summer, so his current deal does not expire until the end of next season.
Having been ever-present in 2011-12, the ex-Stoke, Cheltenham and Bristol City defender has now made an impressive 113 league appearances over the U’s in just three years.
And he added the responsibility of being the U’s skipper during the club’s nerve-wracking last few weeks of the campaign.
“I’m proud to be skipper, and Saturday was up there as one of the best moments in my career,” continued Wilson.
“I really enjoy it at Colchester. I’m settled. You could see that by my celebrations after the first goal went in, with the fans. I was chuffed to bits.
“With that first goal, I fancied George (Porter) to put it away, then Billy (Clifford) hit the bar.
“I just thought it was going to be one of those days, because we had also had an earlier handball situation (against Sean O’Hanlon) when the referee didn’t give it.
“I just thought things were going to be against us, but fortunately they weren’t.”
On the face of it, the U’s delivered the perfect performance at Brunton Park, especially as it would have been so easy to cave in under all the pressure.
Joe Dunne’s men looked comfortable throughout the whole afternoon, and seemed to be free of nerves, although Wilson admitted that appearances can be very deceptive.
“I’d be honestly lying if I said there were no nerves,” explained Wilson.
“There were nerves there, and it’s good to have a few nerves because it shows you care.
“But once we were out there, we were switched on.”