You can’t fool U’s defender Matt Heath
COLCHESTER United stalwart Matt Heath does not subscribe to the popular view that League One will be an ‘easier’ division this term.
Experienced centre-half Heath, who has been with the U’s since 2008, is not being fooled into thinking that the departure of the big trio of Charlton, Sheffield Wednesday and Huddersfield – all promoted to the Championship – will make for a less competitive League One.
Heath does believe that the U’s can improve on their three top-10 finishes of their last three years (two 10ths and one eighth), but that will be down to an improved squad rather than weaker opposition.
“I don’t subscribe to the view that the division is going to be easier this year, I don’t fall into that bracket,” insisted Heath.
“I’m sure it will be just as hard as every year. The clubs that have come up are going to be strong as well.
“They will be on a bit of a roll, because winning becomes a habit.
“And the clubs that come down from the Championship always have some decent players.
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“Having said that, I think we can improve on our recent top-10 finishes, and sneak into the top six, at the very least,” added Heath.
League Two champions Swindon Town, who knocked the U’s out of the FA Cup last season, will be a force in League One, as could the likes of newly-promoted Crawley and Shrewsbury. Ex-Leicester City and Leeds defender Heath is looking forward to his fifth season with the U’s, although the 30-year-old is far from guaranteed a regular starting berth.
Magnus Okuonghae and Tom Eastman ended last season as the regular centre-half partnership, and youngsters Tom Aldred and Tom Bender will also be looking to make an impression.
“Four or five of us can play centre-back at the minute,” confirmed Heath.
“But I’m looking forward to this season and I think we will do really well.
“The few good additions to the squad have strengthened us a lot, and Freddie Sears and Clinton Morrison are both exciting acquisitions.
“Clinton has a wealth of experience and is a proven goalscorer. He says that he wants to come and score goals, and hopefully he can be our leading marksman up there, with others scoring as well.”