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Notts County   v   Colchester United
SkyBet League Two
Saturday, 4th August 2018 Kick-off 15:00
Stevenage Vs U's - Durham's Preview
Saturday, 24th Mar 2018 09:45 by Durham Exile

After the latest woeful display on Tuesday evening JM takes his seriously confidence bereft charges to the Lamex to take on Stevenage Borough, now managed by Dino Maamria.

The matches left this season have reached the stage where only the maximum 8 victories from 8 games will do for the U’s. Sadly, the spectacular way in which we have imploded since THAT victory against Coventry has left everyone totally shell shocked.

JM proved on Tuesday evening that he is unsure of his best XI, fails to make telling substitutions in sufficient time, but incredibly still receives support from the faithful. At the final whistle I heard not one dissent ting voice or call for his removal. He also walked over to acknowledge the supporters, albeit wearing the expression of a rabbit caught in the headlights of a Reliant Robin.

Today we take on one of the sides against whom we enjoy a decent record. Stevenage are also unlikely to see Matty Godden return but they do have Alex Revell and Dean Bowditch in their ranks.

Now the situation is crystal clear for the U’s nothing less than a victory will do. Forget the unlikely scenario of the eight victories, we are playing for pride and hopefully in these last eight games the opportunity to show the opposition that we could have been up in the top seven elite had it not been for a series of long term injuries to key players (Prosser, Dickenson, Guthrie and Loft to name only some).

Now Kurtis Guthrie has been the fall guy since returning form injury. He has cut a forlorn figure since his return and his form has been poor, attitude worse and has publicly fallen out with JM. I would however like to see him play before the end of the season because we are in a position where we have mustered only 46 goals in 38 goals and that is the reason why we will not be participating in the Play Offs this season.

Memories fade but it was Guthrie who singlehandedly forced changes in the U’s ranks last season after the Yeovil debacle at Huish Park. Guthrie has the ability to play in League Two and to score goals. He may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I happen to believe that all is not lost with him and he needs to be offered the chance to finish the season.

Colin Garwood was a similar character to Guthrie, great goal scorer (the equaliser against Derby in the 99th minute at Layer Road brought the house down), but he too had a poor attitude and famously stated that he had played his last game for the club before being transferred out.

So, an olive branch needs to be extended to Guthrie and he should pull on the famous blue and white jersey or luminous green one, particularly at the New Lawn at Easter time.

Those doubters need only look at the stats recently and consider that no striker has scored in the last 5 games and only Brandon Comley whose excellent strike at Mansfield is the only goal mustered during that period.

These are grim times to be a Colchester supporter. Another season in the basement league beckons with next season looking to be a very poor-quality footballing league (have a look at who is coming down and who is joining from the National League).


Anyway, time for JM to take some positive pills and go for broke. If fit Frankie Kent should return and let’s try 3,4,3 with the following personnel.

Walker

Eastman Prosser Kent

Vincent-Young Comley Stevenson Dickenson

Senior Mandron Ogedi-Uzokwe

Subs:

Subs:
Barnes Jackson Rooney Shodipo Szmodics Murray Wright

Luke Prosser, Kane Vincent-Young, Brennan Dickenson, Courtney Senior, Ben Stevenson and Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe should already be pencilled in, with Mikael Mandron to be played with support from Junior up front.

If Ben Stevenson doesn’t start, then JM should be despatched to the Gulag as a crime against football, it’s that simple.

The supporters; long suffering and loyal deserve much better. They want to see passion, commitment, desire and belief. All of which was lacking from all bar three players on Tuesday at Morecambe.

No team has an automatic right to promotion but in a league where quality is at a premium, our lamentable form and results have shocked many. On Tuesday I was embarrassed not least because we have clearly regressed since last season but mainly because it was another game that I have failed to witness a U’s victory.

Weather in Stevenage will be a mild 10 degrees Celsius and the chance of some rain.

The Cup Finals:
Stevenage A
Luton H
Forest Green A
Accrington H
Notts Co H
Lincoln A
Swindon H
Exeter A

By 4.50pm I will be either dreaming that the 8 victories, however unlikely can be achieved or will be able to at last face the stark reality that our season, with one sixth still to play, is well and truly over.

Safe journey to the travelling faithful.

Up the U’s

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Photo: Action Images



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