Wayne sets U's target of top-two place

WAYNE Brown could well be playing against his old club Ipswich Town next season, after propelling Colchester United into second spot in League One.The U's experienced defender, a strong candidate for player-of-the-season, fired home a splended free-kick to secure the slender victory over 10-man Tranmere.

By Carl Marston

WAYNE Brown could well be playing against his old club Ipswich Town next season, after propelling Colchester United into second spot in League One.

The U's experienced defender, a strong candidate for player-of-the-season, fired home a splended free-kick to secure the slender victory over 10-man Tranmere.

Goal-hero Brown is certainly not even thinking of the play-offs. The ex-Town defender is aiming to join leaders Southend in the Championship next season, via the automatic route, and so set up a dream return to Portman Road, his old stamping ground.


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Brown insisted: “I've banned all talk of the play-offs about the place. I'll shoot anyone who even mentions them!

“I know we went a long way in the FA Cup, and played so well at Chelsea, but if we don't win promotion then I will consider it to have been a bad season for us.

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“I'm not here for us to just get into the play-offs. We are good enough to get the second spot, so we want to win our last three games and finish the season strongly.

“It was a feeling of relief more than anything else, at hearing the final whistle. It was certainly more relief than joy,” added Brown.

The U's inspirational 28-year-old, who has had a fantastic season at the heart of defence, transformed himself into a lethal marksman by lifting a free-kick into the roof of the net from 20 yards out, to send the Layer Road crowd wild with delight.

It was Brown's third goal of the season, and only his second in the league. In fact, it was only the 11th goal of his career.

He continued: “I've started taking a few free-kicks over the last few weeks. The gaffer wants me to use my left foot from these positions, and it turned out well for me today.

“I had a free-kick earlier in the half, which was more of a back pass than a shot! I placed it right down the keeper's throat.

“But I fancied my chances from the next one, because I could see a hole in the defensive wall. It was all about movement and timing, and I hit it just right. I've been practising those in training for the last four to six weeks. I knew it was on for me, but quite frankly I couldn't have cared who scored for us today, just so long as we got the win.

“Tranmere are fighting for their lives, needing a few points to stay up, so they made it very scrappy for us. It was a dogfight, and there were some heavy legs out there.

“We made it difficult for ourselves, but it doesn't matter how we play. We must just keep winning.

“I've been in this position before, of wondering about other results as well, during my time at Ipswich. But we must just concentrate on us, and being in control of our own destiny.

“There's three games to go, and I reckon three wins and we should be up,” confirmed Brown, who made 50 senior appearances for Ipswich before his move to Watford just before Christmas 2002.

The U's travel to mid-table Bournemouth on Saturday, before ending their campaign with matches against relegation-threatened Rotherham (at home) and Yeovil (away).

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