Ward delighted to progress

Playing neat football is one thing; winning is another.

PLAYING neat football is one thing; winning is another.

Colchester United boss John Ward, appointed over the summer, watched his side combine these two elements to great effect at Hereford in the Carling Cup on Tuesday night.

And that’s how he wants his team to be operating this season, successful as well as entertainers.

In his first match in charge, at Exeter last Saturday, the U’s neat build-up play only yielded a 2-2 draw. But victory was sweet in his second game at the helm.

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“I don’t want to be a nice team that doesn’t win,” insisted Ward, in the wake of Tuesday night’s 3-0 win at Edgar Street.

“I want us to threaten more, which is what we did at Hereford.

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“Defensively we kept a clean-sheet, against very big, strong opponents. Our centre-halves dealt with that very well, because it was a very physical contest for them to deal with.

“After conceding the late goal at Exeter on Saturday, we stood up to that well. It’s nice to have a clean-sheet, and it’s nice to get that first win.

“To have three of our first four games away from home is not ideal. But we can now go into the Shefffield Wednesday (home) game on Saturday with a lot of confidence,” added Ward.

The U’s boss is sweating over the fitness of star striker David Mooney and key midfielder Andrew Bond, after both picked up worrying ankle injuries at Hereford.

Bond limped off early in the second period, while Reading loanee Mooney, who bagged the U’s first two goals on his full debut, was stretchered off. Ward is hoping that both have suffered just bad knocks, rather than ligament damage.

The U’s boss also praised chairman and owner Robbie Cowling, for agreeing to let the squad stay down in the south-west between the Exeter and Hereford fixtures.

“We had a few days in the West Country to prepare,” explained Ward.

“I’d like to thank the chairman for that, because it’s something I asked him if we could do.

“He supported that and, to be fair to the boys, they’ve supported him back.

“And that’s what I want this football club to be like, responding to the situation.”

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