Ward happy U’s were ‘put to the sword’

COLCHESTER United manager John Ward was “a bit concerned” with his side’s pre-season, despite their unbeaten record and just one goal conceded.

COLCHESTER United manager John Ward was “a bit concerned” with his side’s pre-season, despite their unbeaten record and just one goal conceded.

But he needn’t have worried, because the U’s showed a lot of character to resist every Preston fight-back at Deepdale on Saturday.

Ward did not know how his side would react to the blow of conceding a goal or two, such was the strength of his miserly defence during the summer friendlies.

But Preston, despite knocking on the door, were impressively dispatched 4-2 in a pulsating clash.


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“You might think this sounds a little odd, but I was a bit concerned with pre-season because we hadn’t concede goals,” explained Ward.

“Teams have had chances against us, and all these misses tend to add up.

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“So I was not sure how we were going to cope when one or two of these chances started going in.

“We had talked about it, but you never know how you are going to deal with it, until you have been put to the sword.

“And Preston put us to the sword, even though we were in the lead. We will see in the future whether we can come back when we are getting beaten.

“We showed a lot of mettle when Preston pulled it back to 2-1. They put us under a lot of pressure at 2-1, and the crowd was beginning to believe that their team was going to get the win.

“So that was a big test for my team, and to get the third goal so quickly was a calming influence for us. The timing of our goals helped us,” added Ward.

The contented U’s boss revealed that two-goal hero Ian Henderson had worked hard on his finishing during pre-season, along with the rest of the team.

“Hendo (Henderson) has improved, because I don’t think he has always been a clinical finisher,” continued Ward.

“He’s kept his cool at good times, and scored what looked to be comfortable goals for him, which they certainly were not. Scoring goals is really tough.

“We know a lack of goals was a problem for us last season, away from home.

“If we had started off this season again in this manner, then you would have been asking me different questions.

“Today was a lovely day, but it won’t work every-day,” concluded Ward.

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