Wayne backing U's desire to be decisive
COLCHESTER United ever-present Wayne Brown believes that the play-offs are now a realistic proposition.Brown chose the perfect time to score his first goal of the season, breaking the deadlock deep into first-half stoppage time during Saturday's 3-1 win over then-league leaders Sunderland.
By Carl Marston
COLCHESTER United ever-present Wayne Brown believes that the play-offs are now a realistic proposition.
Brown chose the perfect time to score his first goal of the season, breaking the deadlock deep into first-half stoppage time during Saturday's 3-1 win over then-league leaders Sunderland.
United are just one point adrift of the play-offs, thanks to Wolves' 3-2 defeat by Birmingham on Sunday. That result propelled Steve Bruce's side to the top of the table, dislodging Sunderland, while at the same time keeping Wolves on 70 points.
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“The play-offs are definitely on!” insisted Brown, who is just two games away from playing in every minute of every match this season.
“Before the Sunderland match, we said that this was a must-win game to stand any chance of getting in the play-offs. Well, we've won that, so we have a hell of a chance now.
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“They are tough games, away at Stoke and at home to Crystal Palace. But we are a team full of belief. We have a great chance, and we'll be looking for three points at Stoke at the weekend. Layer Road has really rocked this season, and that was the case again against Sunderland. It was a fantastic atmosphere, and we still have one game left at home, maybe even two to look forward to!” added Brown, with reference to a possible play-off semi-final home leg.
Geraint Williams' men will almost certainly have to beat both Stoke and Palace to stand a chance of gate-crashing the top six. Even though they are only a point adrift, they remain in ninth place, so other results must also go their way.
Brown paid a special tribute to U's teenage striker Jamie Guy, who made a big impact as a 76th minute substitute against Sunderland.
While fellow substitute Hogan Ephraim set-up Richard Garcia's 82nd-minute strike, which restored the U's lead at 2-1, it was Guy who effectively sealed the game with his powerful run that led to Jamie Cureton winning a penalty, which the U's leading scorer duly despatched for his 24th goal of the campaign.
“Jamie (Guy) has the knack of managing to terrorise defenders,” revealed Brown. “He will be the first to admit that some of his decisions on the ball have not been the best this season, but I for one would not like to mark him! Jamie has a lot of pace and power, which defenders don't like.
“I was delighted to finally get my first goal of the season. It was a bit like last season, when I scored another vital goal with the winner against Tranmere (April 17, 2006).
“I kept telling the lads that I would score, but it's taken a while. However, it came at just the right time. I just chucked myself at the ball from Kevin Watson's free-kick. There were several bodies in there.
“I nearly got a second as well with another header that rolled inches past the post. I couldn't quite get enough on the ball to guide it in,” added Brown, who was referring to his deft header from another Watson free-kick shortly after Dwight Yorke's equaliser.
Stoke are ahead of the U's on goal difference, but Brown concluded: “We have a great desire to win. That saw us through against Sunderland, and hopefully it will do again.”