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Carlisle United v Colchester United – Sky Bet League Two – Brunton Park – Saturday 3pm – Preview
Ray Crawford would be more than happy with a spare of the spoils from Colchester United’s Sky Bet League Two trip to Carlisle United, but ultimately conceded the U’s will need to discover a ruthless streak if they are to harbour ambitions of a promotion challenge.
The U’s are unbeaten five games into the campaign. However, draws in four of those outings have left the North Essex side in midtable, two points outside the play-off places.
“It’s nice to be unbeaten, but we’d have been better off winning two and losing two of those four games,” Crawford told Yellow Sport.
“Of course, we aren’t far away from the top seven. But losing the lead in each of the last three outings is already taking its toll on our league position – we need to remain within sight of the top seven.
Nevertheless, against a Carlisle side who have won three from five and kept three clean sheets during that sequence, Crawford wouldn’t be averse to another draw to maintain momentum.
“Ultimately, I want Colchester to go there and take all three points,” the former frontman added.
“But against a team in decent form, keeping the run going will build further confidence amongst the squad and set them up nicely for the midweek game with Forest Green Rovers at home next week – a game we have to win.”
Crawford continued: “I’m not sure why we can’t hang on to the lead. I’ve read Peter Kitchen’s Yellow Sport articles on how Leyton Orient seems to kick into gear when they are behind – Colchester is the opposite just now.
“It’s still early in the season – a season which has been difficult to prepare for due to the pandemic. But it’s small margins yet again with Colchester. If we start getting them right, we won’t be far away from the play-off places. That has to be the focus over these coming weeks.”
Ray Crawford’s prediction: Carlisle United 1-1 Colchester United
Jeevesie’s prediction: Carlisle United 0-0 Colchester United