Ward: No time to dwell on negatives

THERE are still plenty more twists and turns left in the rollercoaster that is Colchester United’s season.

From being handily placed within touching distance of the play-off places this time last week, back-to-back defeats against Southampton and Dagenham & Redbridge have seen the U’s fall 10 points away.

It just shows how quickly the picture can change in what is still a very tight League One – and Colchester manager John Ward is using that as a positive ahead of today’s visit of Milton Keynes Dons.

He said: “It seems strange that prior to last Saturday’s game we were talking about potentially going within a point of Southampton and the top six, now – two games later – we are 10 points behind them. That shows you how quickly things can change and there’s no reason it can’t change quickly back the other way for us.”

The MK Dons themselves are proof of that. Like the U’s they have been a side on the periphery of the play-off places for much of the season, however a run of four victories from their last five has elevated them into sixth spot. A win for Colchester today would suddenly put them within seven points of the Dons with a game in hand to play.

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It’s for that reason that Ward, whose side had won four successive home games before their spirited defeat with 10 men against Southampton last weekend, doesn’t want to dwell on the disappointment of his team’s limp 1-0 defeat at Victoria Road in midweek. “We’re disappointed with Tuesday and how we went about it, as I said at the time it was one of the poorest performances of the season, but we’ve got to put it behind us quickly,” said Ward.

“Let’s not dwell on it, let’s not make a massive deal of it, let’s make sure that we remember the other 30-odd games when we’ve praised them. It’s like riding your bicycle – if you fall off you’ve got to get back on quickly otherwise you will lose the will to do it.”

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He added: “We were all full of praise for the team last Saturday for the way they bounced back with 10 men against a good Southampton team so why I should even consider negativity now?

“I don’t get involved in that day-to-day change of mind, there’s got to be a considered approach to what we’re doing as a football club.”

Ward yesterday revealed that, with top-scorer David Mooney serving the second of a three-match ban today, he would start Steven Gillespie as long as he felt he was fit enough to last the game.

The fans’ favourite – who scored four goals in three consecutive home games in January/February – has made four substitute appearances since returning from a hamstring injury.

Right-back Brian Wilson could be included in the squad for the first time in three months today. He has been out with an ankle injury but played 75 minutes of a reserve team match on Wednesday night.

– For live match updates, follow Stuart_Watson on www.twitter.com. Report and reaction on www.greenun24.co.uk

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