We’re not scared of Brighton, says Ward

COLCHESTER United manager John Ward says his side do not fear a trip to league-leaders Brighton.

A pitch inspection at 11.15am this morning will determine whether tomorrow’s scheduled clash between two of League One’s high-fliers will go ahead following heavy snowfall in Sussex.

If the game is given the green light then the U’s squad will travel down to the south coast this afternoon for an overnight stop ahead of a match between two very evenly matched sides on paper.

Brighton currently lead the way in League One with 36 points, but in what is still an incredibly tight table seventh-place Colchester could close the gap on their hosts to just four points with victory at The Withdean and potentially move up into the automatic promotion places.

The Seasiders are the only team in the division to have lost fewer games than the U’s in the league – defeated just twice compared to Colchester’s three.

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And while Gus Poyet and Maurico Taricco’s side are yet to lose on home turf in nine league outings, Colchester can take great confidence from the fact that they have only been defeated once in eight away league outings themselves.

Indeed, the U’s have already ended one epic home record this season when they became the first side to win at Bournemouth in the league since mid-January.

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“A quick look at the table is all the motivation my players should need,” said Ward.

“As a manager you don’t have a lot to do in the build-up to these type of games because the players know how big the occasion is.

“I see this match as one to relish not to be scared of and I know my players are of the same mindset.”

Neither side has been in sparkling form of late, with both scraping results against non-league opposition at home in the FA Cup second round last weekend; Colchester narrowly beat Swindon Supermarine 1-0, while Brighton fought back to get a 1-1 draw against FC United of Manchester.

This is likely to be the last time that Colchester will play at The Withdean Stadium; a venue whose away stand has long proved the bane of travelling fans due to its lack of proximity from the action.

The Seasiders will finally move out of their temporary base of an athletics stadium next summer to move into the �95m Falmer Stadium (22,500 capacity) which is now not far from completion.

– For the results of this morning’s pitch inspection at The Withdean Stadium, visit www.greenun24.co.uk, or follow Stuart_Watson on www.twitter.com.

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