Underdog status could suit U’s

WITH no wins in seven you could forgive Colchester United for being a little apprehensive ahead of today’s visit of red-hot Millwall.

WITH no wins in seven you could forgive Colchester United for being a little apprehensive ahead of today’s visit of red-hot Millwall.

However, following Friday’s 2-0 defeat at relegation-fighting Exeter, optimistic U’s midfielder Kemi Izzet says underdog status could well play into the Essex side’s hands in this afternoon’s 1pm clash.

“This season we’ve found that teams have come to our place with the sole intention of playing on the break and, as a result, they have often been hard to break down,” said the 29-year-old.

“Millwall are playing well though and I hope that they come to attack us because if they do we will punish them.”

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Kenny Jackett’s side have gone from the outskirts of the play-off places to pushing hard for an automatic promotion spot in recent weeks following six wins from their last eight games.

In contrast, Colchester have gone from automatic promotion hopefuls to a side in danger of missing out on a top-six finish altogether following a return of just three points from their last seven matches.

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Izzet’s underdog theory may hold some sway though if Colchester’s results this season are anything to go by. While the U’s have dropped points against the likes of lowly Stockport, Wycombe, Gillingham and Tranmere, they have raised their game to record home wins over Charlton, Huddersfield, Southampton and Bristol Rovers.

And with third-place Millwall (h), second-place Swindon (h) and fifth-place Charlton (a) the next three fixtures, U’s fans of a more positive outlook will be desperately hoping this proves to be an omen.

“There are seven games to go, we are still in a fantastic position and it’s still all to play for,” said Izzet.

“In the last three games I really think we’ve played well, it’s just that the results aren’t coming at the moment.

“I just hope the crowd get behind us because it makes such a big difference. You hear some silly things being shouted sometimes, but I just hope they remain patient with us.”

U’s boss Aidy Boothroyd played a 4-5-1 formation for the first time this season at Exeter on Friday and he may well be tempted to stick with it again today.

Left-back Marc Tierney is in contention for a return to the starting line-up after a swift recovery following groin surgery, however striker Kayode Odejayi (ankle) is still out.

Millwall – who have played with virtually the same starting XI throughout their eight game unbeaten run – have no fresh injury worries following Friday’s 1-1 draw at Brentford.

The Lions, having quickly sold out their initial ticket allocation, have been awarded additional away seating for today’s game following police advice.

– For live updates from today’s game, follow the EADT’s Colchester United reporter at www.twitter.com/Stuart_Watson.

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