We must not feel sorry for ourselves – John Ward

COLCHESTER United boss John Ward wants his side to be “all smiles,” going into tonight’s key game at relegation-haunted Walsall.

The U’s have let a 1-0 lead slip in their last two home games, against Huddersfield and Carlisle (both 1-1 draws), to leave them still a distant six points adrift of the top six.

But United are still on the fringe of the play-off race, and a win in the West Midlands could propel them closer to that elusive sixth spot – rivals Carlisle, Stevenage and Brentford are also in action this evening.

Ward explained: “I don’t think there’s much to choose between the teams pushing for the sixth spot. I think the top five are done-and-dusted, so there’s just one place left.

“If we go to Walsall feeling sorry for ourselves and get beaten, and then we see Carlisle slip up (at MK Dons), then we are going to kick ourselves even more.

“So it’s really important that we are all smiles again, and look forward to Walsall.

“I’m quite pleased that my players are disappointed, even after not being beaten by these strong teams (Carlisle, Stevenage, Huddersfield and Sheffield United).

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“It’s still there, and everything is still alive.

“Walsall have made some changes, and have done all right recently.

“They will be hard to beat at home, the same as Wycombe were (0-0 draw). We will not worry about other results until after our game,” added Ward.

The U’s will be without midfielder Martin Rowlands, who suffered a recurrence of a groin injury during the second half against Carlisle, just five minutes after scoring the opener.

Andy Bond could replace Rowlands in central midfield, although attackers Kayode Odejayi and Freddie Sears are also pushing for starts.

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