Watson says U's can still survive

THIS is not the time of the season to start moaning about poor results, cursing bad luck or just generally feeling sorry for yourself.That is the rallying cry of Colchester United's wily midfielder, Kevin Watson, who made only his second appearance since last November in Saturday's disappointing 1-0 home defeat by Wolves.

Carl Marston

THIS is not the time of the season to start moaning about poor results, cursing bad luck or just generally feeling sorry for yourself.

That is the rallying cry of Colchester United's wily midfielder, Kevin Watson, who made only his second appearance since last November in Saturday's disappointing 1-0 home defeat by Wolves.

Watson, now aged 34, is still a little short of match fitness, but time is running out both for himself and the U's to stave off relegation from the Championship.


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Geraint Williams' men face their longest journey of the season today, to take on promotion-chasing Plymouth on the Devon Coast. It is a daunting prospect, but Watson will make sure that neither he nor his team-mates are plagued by negative thoughts.

“We will not be sitting around feeling sorry for ourselves. There's no point in moaning and we won't be moping around,” insisted Watson.

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“You won't get anything that way. We need to put in a performance at Plymouth, we all know that.

“We have had nothing but success since I've been at the club. When I first came, we finished 15th in League One, and it's been success all the way since then.

“I haven't really been involved in a relegation scrap before, apart from one season at Swindon when we ended up finishing a couple of points clear.

“It's different this season. We have 12 games left, and they are all massive games.

“It's looking more and more like one point at a place like Plymouth won't be good enough. We need to win as many matches as we can,” added Watson.

Before this season, playmaker Watson had not missed many games since his arrival from Reading during the summer of 2004. But he suffered a calf injury at the end of November, and his slow return to fitness included five successive appearances as an unused substitute last month.

His long-awaited return was marked by a narrow defeat to Wolves, which condemned the U's to the Championship basement, five points adrift of safety. But confidence has not taken a battering.

He continued: “Of course I was glad to be back in the side, but I was a little bit disappointed because I gave the ball away with three passes in the second half.

“I know that we didn't score against Wolves, but we have still been scoring a lot of goals this season, despite losing the likes of Jamie Cureton (to Norwich) and Chris Iwelumo (to Charlton) last summer.

“The problem has been letting in too many at the other end. It's not just the back four, because just about every player has made an individual error that has cost us this season.

“Wayne Brown (now at Hull) was a fantastic player for us. He won everything in the air and was a great talker and organiser. In fact, he was a nightmare to play in front of, because he would never stop talking!

“But in Chris Coyne we have an exact replica. Chris is also strong in the air and is a good leader.

“We didn't deserve to lose to Wolves, but we have to move on. No one is speaking about relegation,” added Watson.

U's boss Williams has some interesting decisions to make, in terms of selection, not least in midfield. Dean Hammond is pushing for a first start, and the right flank has become a problem position following the injuries to Mark Yeates (out for the season following surgery on his shoulder) and Karl Duguid (foot injury).

New loan signing Izzy McLeod replaced Duguid down the right wing against Wolves, although the Charlton 23-year-old is happier playing up front.

Teddy Sheringham (foot infection), Pat Baldwin (knee injury), John White (dislocated elbow), Danny Granville (tight groin), Jamie Guy (Achilles tendon) and keepers Aidan Davison (sore shoulder) and Mark Cousins (appendicitis) remain on the sidelines.

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