Exeter City v Colchester United – Sky Bet League Two – St James Park – Friday (1pm) – Colchester United v Bradford City – Sky Bet League Two – JobServe Community Stadium – Monday (3pm) – Preview
Ray Crawford picked the bones out of Colchester United’s disappointing 2-0 Sky Bet League Two defeat at the hands of relegation-haunted Stevenage and pointed an accusing finger in the direction of the U’s players.
“They’ve underachieved this season, and now, believing that they are safe from the drop they have put their feet up,” the former frontman told Yellow Sport.
“It simply wasn’t acceptable. We have a slightly bigger than usual crowd who went home wondering why they’d bothered. Ultimately, they are the ones the players have to justify themselves to. Not many of them can go home, look in the mirror and told themselves they gave everything in that performance.
“Take nothing away from Stevenage, they won easily. Steve Evans had clearly got into their minds and made them believe. They hadn’t won away since the start of the season. That didn’t show last Saturday.
The U’s face promotion-chasing Exeter City and a Bradford City side similarly going through the motions over the Easter period. Crawford has demanded an improvement from the U’s squad.
“To be honest, there’s no way I can see us getting anything at Exeter,” Crawford added.
“I try to be positive as much as I can towards my old teams, but I can’t see anything other than a defeat in the West Country. They are unbeaten in eight and look nailed on for promotion. A blueprint for what we should be aiming at.
“Bradford might be a bit different. Firstly, I think they might be of a similar mindset, but also because I’d like to think that Wayne Brown has let the player know in no uncertain terms exactly what he thought after the Stevenage game.
“Do Colchester United want to win back the missing supporters? It can’t continue to fluctuate because the fans are fed up. They can’t be expected to turn up when there seems to be very little ambition to entertain them or even keep them interested.
“On top of that, we probably still need another win to ensure we are safe. Have the players got the stomach for it? Only they can answer that question!”
Ray Crawford’s Prediction: Exeter City 2-0 Colchester United
Jeevesie’s prediction: Exeter City 3-0 Colchester United
Ray Crawford’s Prediction: Colchester United 1-0 Bradford City
Jeevesie’s prediction: Colchester United 1-1 Bradford City