Crawford expecting a U’s rocket

Colchester United v Southend United – Papa Johns Trophy – JobServe Community Stadium – Tuesday 7pm – Preview

Ray Crawford doesn’t expect lightning to strike twice at the JobServe Community Stadium.

A shock Emirates FA Cup defeat at the hands of non-league minnows, Marine, has left everyone connected with Colchester United somewhat deflated and the former U’s frontman thinks Essex rivals, Southend United might well suffer the backlash when the pair go head-to-head in what is already a dead rubber of an EFL Trophy tie.

“I couldn’t believe Colchester slipped in the cup,” Crawford told Yellow Sport.

“It was a missed opportunity. Whether the players took Marine too lightly, underestimated them or simply didn’t perform, they should still have been far too strong.

“I’d imagine words were exchanged and the manager let them know in no uncertain terms that a performance like this can’t happen again. I think they’ll be chomping at the bit to put it right against Southend.

“I know Colchester might use the game to give players some game time but after Saturday, whoever comes in will see it as an opportunity to stake a claim to play against Leyton Orient on Saturday.

“As well as that, I don’t think this group of players will want to be remembered as the first team to lose against their struggling local rivals this season. Sad as it is to see Southend inn this state, Colchester must be ruthless – whoever is wearing the shirts.”

Crawford continued: “Player for player, Colchester have a far stronger group, whether that be their best starting elevens or even if both sides select fringe players.

“Both teams are out of the competition, the only incentive is pride and prize money for winning the match. The former should be enough to fire up the players for a derby, whichever side they are playing on.

“Colchester must learn lessons from the weekend and approach their opponents with respect. Southend will win a game at some point – we must ensure it isn’t us that is on the wrong end.”

Ray Crawford’s prediction: Colchester United 3-0 Southend United
Jeevesie’s prediction: Colchester United 2-0 Southend United

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Brian Jeeves

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