Colchester United v Harrogate Town – Sky Bet League Two – JobServe Community Stadium – Saturday (3pm) – Preview
Ray Crawford remains baffled by Colchester United’s poor Sky Bet League Two form and is concerned that the U’s are dragging themselves into another battle to avoid relegation, even at this relatively early stage of the campaign.
The U’s were beaten 2-0 at Tranmere Rovers last Friday, and are hovering just two points above the dropzone ahead of this weekends’ clash with high-flying Harrogate Town at the JobServe.
“We seem defensive-minded and uncreative,” Crawford told Yellow Sport.
“If we fall behind, we don’t seem to have any idea how to retrieve the situation. I’m really concerned because this group of players should be doing much better.
“I’m not sure if some players are in the team on reputation as opposed to form, but some of them simply aren’t cutting the mustard right now.”
Second-placed Harrogate head to North Essex off the back of a 6-1 hammering of Scunthorpe United last weekend: “They are full of confidence right now,” the former frontman added.
“Despite their league position, I don’t see Harrogate as a team of stars, or for that matter, individuals. They are just very officiant, workmanlike and positive-minded.
“They are the top-scorers in League Two, have only lost once and won six times. They are quite open and have conceded a few goals. As ever, my heart is ruling my head with my prediction simply because I believe this Colchester team are so much better than what we are seeing.
“But regardless of what I think, only the players can do something about it. We became embroiled in a dogfight last season and must not think we are too good to go down this time around either.
“The supporters are clearly unimpressed with what they are seeing. If we are towards the bottom come Christmas, I fear we may be in big trouble this time. I’d hoped lessons had been learned last season. Something needs to change.
“We have two home games coming up this week. Four points, minimum, is essential. We have to be more creative, we have to get the forward players into the game. Currently, we look like a team still trying to find their feet in a style that doesn’t suit them.
“It’s not beyond us to get the three points. As ever, I’ll back the boys because this is my old club. But as we approach the quarter-way point in the season, the school report says must do better.”
Ray Crawford’s prediction: Colchester United 1-0 Harrogate Town
Jeevesie’s prediction: Colchester United 0-2 Harrogate Town