‘We must keep our nerve’ – Ward

COLCHESTER United may have lost three games on the spin, but it’s far too early to start pressing the panic button.

COLCHESTER United may have lost three games on the spin, but it’s far too early to start pressing the panic button.

A chorus of boos greeted the U’s third straight defeat, at the hands of League Two visitors Swindon Town last weekend, as the Essex club crashed out of the FA Cup.

While the Robins’ charismatic Italian boss, Paolo Di Canio, was waxing lyrical about his team and various other issues, not all of them football-related (including his own hunger for fresh fish!), his opposite number John Ward was facing up to another disappointment.

But rather than dwell on his team’s recent slide, which has also featured a 5-1 home defeat by MK Dons and a 1-0 reverse at Carlisle, Ward is looking for a positive reaction against visiting Bury tomorrow.

“It’s three defeats on the trot, but we have been here before, and I have as a manager,” explained Ward during yesterday’s press conference.

“It is a time to keep your nerve. It’s not a massive problem. Conversely, if we had won three games on the trot, I would not even have been nominated for manager of the month.

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“People look at the manager for his reaction, and it is the first day you come back on Monday which is the one that counts.

“As the manager, I set the mood, and I am not a miserable person for long, though of course I can be down and I can be upset and disappointed,” added Ward.

The U’s boss was impressed with the manner in which a strong Reserves side beat AFC Hornchurch 4-1 in Tuesday night’s Essex Senior Cup fourth round tie.

Several of that team will be included in tomorrow’s squad, including midfielder John-Joe O’Toole, who made a welcome return to competitive action after a recent groin problem.

But Ward will be without striker Steven Gillespie (one-match ban) and winger Ashley Vincent (hamstring).

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