Williams' plea for more aggression

COLCHESTER United boss Geraint Williams has appealed for his team to show more aggression at the start of matches, following Saturday's slow start in a 2-1 defeat at Stoke.

By Carl Marston

COLCHESTER United boss Geraint Williams has appealed for his team to show more aggression at the start of matches, following Saturday's slow start in a 2-1 defeat at Stoke.

“It's very frustrating. We knew the challenge before us. Stoke are a very big and physical team, and yet we lost the early battles and then conceded a goal from a set piece,” rued Williams.

“Too many times this season we have given teams an early lead before we have started to play.


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“I feel we need to show more aggression, and I mean controlled aggression. We need to get on the front foot and match teams early on.

“Stoke were far brighter than us in the first-half, and they created chance after chance even before they scored. We needed to play through and around them.

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“We were far braver and more positive in the second half, and we scored a good equaliser, but it was doubly disappointing that we should then concede to a sucker punch,” added Williams.

U's skipper Karl Duguid was stretchered off after 33 minutes, having twisted his ankle while trying to block a cross. Hungarian international Bela Balogh replaced him at right-back to make his U's debut.

Williams confirmed: “Karl (Duguid) turned his ankle. He has had a lot of ice put on it, and we will have to see how the ankle settles down. Bela (Balogh) came on and did quite well on his debut. He's a centre-half but he's comfortable on the ball and can play anywhere in defence.”

Meanwhile, Stoke's match-winner, Liam Lawrence, believes that the Potteries club are defying the odds to be in the top six after selling so many key players over the summer.

Lawrence revealed: “Not many players have come in and some of our best players have gone. But we have all stuck together and we are grinding out the results.

“When Colchester scored their equaliser, I said to myself - “here we go again” - because we had let our lead slip. But we have not been beaten for a while. We don't take too many chances.

“I can't believe that some of our fans are still giving the manager (Tony Pulis) some stick. We need everyone to get behind him, and be patient,” added Lawrence.

Potters boss Pulis said: “The one big disappointment for me was that we didn't get the second goal when we were well on top in the first-half. We deserved to be two up.

“Colchester scoring from their first effort on goal would have knocked the stuffing out of some teams, but not us. We've only lost once at home in 18 games, which is a smashing record.

“I'd like to sign two or three players on loan before the end of this year, and then spend some of the chairman's money after Christmas!”

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