Wounded U’s ready to deliver a backlash
SWINDON beware - wounded Colchester are ready to deliver a backlash.
In recent weeks the Wiltshere side have rocketed into an automatic promotion spot following five wins from six
In contrast, Colchester have plummeted out of the play-off places following a miserable run of eight games without victory.
Looking at the pre-match comments from both sets of managers though you wouldn’t have thought it to be that way.
“Swindon are doing very, very well and will come here full of confidence, but at the same time they will be wary of what we might do to them,” said U’s boss Aidy Boothroyd, who – despite an unfortunate 2-1 defeat – was left delighted with his team’s performance against Millwall on Monday.
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“At the moment we are just a little too eager to win, but in many ways that’s a good bad habit to have. We just need to temper that a bit.
“Luck evens itself out and we are due a little bit of a goalscoring glut. With the chances we are creating, somebody is going to get it from us soon.”
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Swindon head into today’s game having lost just two games this calendar year. The Robins moved into second spot with a 3-0 thrashing of Leeds at Elland Road last Saturday and cemented that position with another 3-0 victory over Tranmere just two days later.
The goalscoring exploits of strikers Billy Paynter and Charlie Austin may be grabbing the headlines, but it’s also important to note that Wilson’s side have kept five clean sheets in their last six games.
Despite the contrasting fortunes of both sides, Swindon boss Wilson knows today’s trip to Essex has the potential to be a major banana skin for his team.
He said: “Huddersfield’s result midweek makes this game very, very tough because it has taken Colchester out of the top six. So they will see this game as the one where they can beat us and get back amongst it.
“They are a good side and even though they have had a dip in form that isn’t to say it will continue or won’t stop this weekend.
“This is a massive test for us, probably the biggest we’ve had in a month, so we’ll have to be ready.”
Boothroyd may once again have to shuffle his back four today if Franck Queudrue isn’t passed fit.
The Birmingham loanee came off with a hamstring strain against Millwall on Monday and is rated as ‘touch and go’ by his manager.
Should the Frenchman be unavailable then it is likely to be a straight choice between teenager Danny Batth and the more experienced Matt Heath at centre-back.
Two players that will definately still be unavailable for the U’s today are striker Kayode Odejayi and defender Paul Reid.
Odejayi injured ankle ligaments at Walsall recently and, although he may be ready for next Tuesday’s trip to Charlton, won’t return today.
Reid continues to struggle with a series of niggles which stem from a back problem.
Meanwhile, Swindon boss Wilson is likely to stick with an unchnaged side from that which beat Tranmere 3-0 on Monday.
Simon Ferry, Billy Paynter and Danny Ward were all withdrawn in the second half of that game in order to keep them fresh for today’s match.
The strike force of Paynter and Austin – the latter having been plucked from non-league side Poole at the start of the campaign – have 43 goals between them in all competitions this season.