‘We just need to keep it going now’ – Colchester United striker Mikael Mandron
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Frenchman, Mikael Mandron, is bang in form and ready to help make it a very happy Christmas at ambitious Colchester United.
While footballers in his native France enjoy a welcome break during the festive period, it’s all hands-to-the-pump this side of the English Channel with the U’s now facing a hectic spell of four matches over the next 11 days.
But Mandron, who headed home his seventh goal of the season in the U’s last outing, a terrific 3-2 win at play-off rivals Swindon Town last Friday night, is loving every minute of it.
The 23-year-old ex-Wigan front-man just wants the games to keep coming.
“I’m pretty used to playing all these games over the Christmas period, because I’ve been over here in this country for six years now,” explained Mandron, who joined the Sunderland Academy in the summer of 2011.
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Mandron continued: “You just have to get used to it – there’s nothing you can do about it. But to be fair, I love playing football so it’s the more games the better for me.
“Back in France, this does not happen. Instead, you get 10 days or a couple of weeks off, to spend time with the family – and there is life outside football!
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“It’s a bit different over here. We will be training on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day as well, ready for the Boxing Day game (away at Crawley Town),
“At the minute, everybody is enjoying coming in to train, with the atmosphere within the team and the form we are in at the moment – it’s great place to be at.
“Everybody wants to be playing, because the team is doing so well and winning games. It’s not easy to break into the team.
“We are able to enjoy winning, just like everybody else. We enjoy it on the night and then on our day off. And usually when you come back to training you still enjoy it, in the way that the mood is up and the spirit is up,” added Mandron.
The U’s are up to eighth in the League Two table, following a run of just two defeats in their last 13 league matches.
They will be looking to continue the sequence of good results at home to Port Vale tomorrow afternoon.
“When you are in the top half of the table, one win doesn’t usually take you up the table very much. You need to keep it going, game-after-game, and we have been able to do that over the past couple of months,” said Mandron.
“We just need to keep it going now.
“We are the in-form team, so others will be trying different ways to stop us. I say – ‘just bring in on!’
“We have such great confidence throughout the team. Everybody is playing together and everyone is trusting everyone on the pitch.
“I think when it’s going so well, like it is, you just want to keep the games coming, moving on to the next one to get another win.”
Mandron has bagged seven goals in 21 league appearances, an impressive ratio given that he has also created several goals.
“We are getting goals throughout the team. I’m obviously the one who should be scoring the goals, but the goals have been coming from elsewhere as well,” enthused Mandron.
“Sammie (Szmodics) has got a few goals (10), and Frankie (Kent) scored the other night (at Swindon). You are going to need that throughout the season.
“I’ve scored a few goals with my head this season, I think with my height it’s a good asset of mine. If the ball is coming into the box, I’m going to be in there hoping to score more goals.
“And yes, I would say this is one of the best spells of my career so far, doing well in the team and scoring goals for the team.
“I’m also enjoying football as much as I have ever done, though I’ve always enjoyed playing football.
“I certainly don’t mind being kicked by defenders, I just get on with it.
“I have always had that attitude, giving it my all. You just have to take it all in.
“Obviously, it’s great playing alongside Sammie (Szmodics) in his vein of form. He brings a huge lift to the team, scoring all his goals.
“Sammie is always looking to get on the ball, and running a lot, getting into the box. He’s usually the one who runs in behind, while I like to drop in,” added Mandron.
Target man Mandron will again lead the U’s front-line tomorrow evening, against a Port Vale side who have crept up to 18th in the table on the back of two straight league victories at Carlisle (2-1) and at home to Cambridge (2-0).
The U’s busy period sees them travel to Crawley on Boxing Day, and Chesterfield on Saturday week (December 30) before entertaining Cambridge United on New Year’s Day.