“We have the best front four in the division,” insists Colchester United’s Tom Lapslie

Tom Lapslie celebrates his second-half equaliser against Altrincham

Tom Lapslie celebrates his second-half equaliser against Altrincham - Credit: Archant

Colchester United might be hovering just above the relegation zone, but Tom Lapslie insists that the U’s have the “best front four” in the division.

The U’s entertain basement dwellers Barnsley this afternoon in a key game for both clubs, not least because the managerless Essex side have lost their last five league games on the bounce.

Nose-diving to just one place and one point above the drop zone, the U’s need to halt the slide quickly.

Wayne Brown will again be in charge, on a caretaker basis for this weekend, and he remains the favourite to land the job full-time next week.

A win over the Tykes would do his chances no harm at all, following on from last Sunday’s dramatic 3-2 win over non-league Altrincham in the FA Cup.

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And midfielder Lapslie, who scored in that game, is adamant that the U’s have the quality firepower to sink most teams in League One.

“Looking at our front four, I’d say we have the best front four in the division,” insisted Lapslie.

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“We’ve just got to shore up at the back, and let them do their things at the other end and score their goals.

“Most of the boys feel this, that we have the best front four.

“We’ve been scoring three or four goals sometimes, and you should be winning games every single week with that front four.

“If we can improve defensively, then we’ll be winning games by 3-0 and 4-0, not seeing our games end 3-2 or 4-3,” added Lapslie.

Callum Harriott, Marvin Sordell, Gavin Massey and George Moncur are the “front four” in question, referred to by team-mate Lapslie.

Charlton loanee Harriott bagged his fourth goal in the last three games with his injury-time winner against Altrincham, while striker Sordell delivered the cross for Lapslie himself to nod home the U’s second equaliser in that second round tie.

Massey has long been one of the U’s most consistent performers, over the last three seasons, while attacking midfielder Moncur is the club’s leading scorer with eight goals to his name.

Futhermore, caretaker Brown also has the services of club captain Chris Porter and rising star Macauley Bonne to call upon, as attacking options.

Lapslie was also handed a more attacking role last weekend, having spent most of his Colchester career to date operating as a defensively-minded midfielder.

“I spoke to the manager (Brown) before last Sunday’s match, and he told me that I was going to play in a more advanced role at the weekend,” explained ex-Academy product Lapslie.

“So that gave me a bit more license to get into the box, and luckily a few chances came my way and I managed to get a goal, though Marvin Sordell put it on a plate for me really.

“I think if you ask any player and tell them they’ve got a chance of scoring a goal, then they’ll be happy.

“I played further forward, earlier on in my career elsewhere, but I don’t mind doing a job wherever I play in the team.

“When I was younger, before coming to Colchester, I was at Ongar, my local team, and I played up front for them for years and years.

“Jack Curtis, who is obviously in the (Colchester) under-21s as well, joined me at Ongar and we then went and played at Maldon together, three up front with us as two of them.

“I played in midfield for my school team, but otherwise I played up front until I was 14 or 15, and then dropped back a bit.

“I could have had a hat-trick (against Altrincham) on another day, possibly, but one-out-of-three wasn’t too bad in the end.

“I was getting those chances, so I must have be getting into the right place at the right time.

“I have given myself a chance by getting into those positions,” added Lapslie, who could play in that same attacking role against Barnsley today.

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