Yeates and team want it for Williams

DAZZLING winger Mark Yeates, speaking on behalf of the whole team, wants to win today's game for manager Geraint Williams.Ex-Tottenham star Yeates is adamant that Colchester United can clamber off the bottom of the Championship table, and then start climbing away from the relegation zone.

By Carl Marston

DAZZLING winger Mark Yeates, speaking on behalf of the whole team, wants to win today's game for manager Geraint Williams.

Ex-Tottenham star Yeates is adamant that Colchester United can clamber off the bottom of the Championship table, and then start climbing away from the relegation zone.

But he realises that the team has to regain their winning touch sooner, rather than later, to relieve the pressure both on the players and the manager.


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“The gaffer (Williams) has shown so much belief in us, that it's high time we started to repay him with a good performance and a win,” insisted Yeates on the eve of this afternoon's home match against Blackpool.

“Speaking personally, the gaffer has been brilliant for us and me. He's played me in every game, and I want to repay him for that faith.

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“We are all in this together, that includes the players, the fans and the whole club. We are a tight group, but it's the players who go on the pitch and are responsible for getting the results.

“I know that we can turn it around. We can get the results, I have no worries about that, but it's a case of when we turn that corner. We need to do it this weekend, with a win over Blackpool.

“Hopefully, the fans will be right behind us for the whole game, not just when things are going well but right from the start. We have to roll up our sleeves.

“It's a must-win game for us. We have to start picking up points against the teams around us, because looking at the results this season, those teams have tended to get the better of us,” admitted Yeates.

The U's slithered to a 2-1 defeat at previous basement dwellers QPR in their last away game, and earlier in the season they suffered a 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Scunthorpe.

Blackpool were promoted along with Scunthorpe (and Bristol City) last summer, and the U's might have to finish above both of them if they are to avoid relegation.

There have been other disappointing results against teams struggling in the lower half of the table this month, including a 4-1 defeat at Cardiff and a 1-1 home draw against Norwich.

Yeates continued: “We have tended to get the better results against the better teams, but now we have to stay in touch with those around us. We have Blackpool this weekend, and Preston still have to come to us in February.

“I don't think we deserve to be where we are in the league, but there's not much to be done about that. We are all working so hard, and we're all pulling together.

“I think that was clear to see at QPR, when we put so much effort into the second-half of that game,” added Yeates.

The U's were in the top half of the table, following their last home win against West Brom (3-2) on October 20. But they have nose-dived over the last couple of months, dropping 12 places on the back of a dismal run of results.

In fact, United have mustered just eight points from a possible 39 in their last 13 games. That barren spell has yielded just one victory, at Sheffield Wednesday, and five draws against Leicester, Plymouth, Watford, Norwich and Southampton.

Blackpool were below the U's in the table in mid-October, but they have continued to pick up the occasional victory to stay out of trouble. A brace of superb free kicks from Yeates pegged them back to 2-2 draw in a thriller at Bloomfield Road three months ago.

“I have happy memories of that game. My two free-kicks helped us to get a point, but we need the win this time,” added Yeates.

Centre-half Adam Virgo should be fit to start, despite suffering a head injury during the 1-1 draw against Southampton on Boxing Day. However, midfielders Kem Izzet (dislocated thumb) and Kevin Watson (calf injury) are again set to miss out, while keeper Aidan Davison remains troubled by a sore shoulder.

Squads

COLCHESTER UNITED: Gerken, Duguid, Baldwin, Virgo, Granville, Yeates, J Jackson, Guttridge, McLeod, Platt, Lisbie, Sheringham, Balogh, Guy, Wordsworth, Connolly, Elokobi, Cousins.

BLACKPOOL: Rachubka, Barker, M Jackson, Gorkss, Crainey, Taylor-Fletcher, Jorgensen, Flynn, Hoolahan, Burgess, Morrell, Fox, Welsh, Vernon, Slusarski, Forbes, Parker.

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