Crawley Town v Colchester United – Sky Bet League Two – People’s Pension Stadium – Saturday 3pm – Preview
It wasn’t pretty, but Colchester United – thanks to Frank Nouble’s superb late equaliser – snatched a share of the spoils against in-form Mansfield Town and edged another point towards Sky Bet League Two safety.
Of course, the U’s winless run continued – eleven matches now, a sequence which has seen them slip from play-off contenders to potential relegation fodder. Nevertheless, Ray Crawford insisted some positives can be taken from their latest performance.
“We showed a bit of fight and determination, which is the minimum requirement,” the former frontman told Yellow Sport.
“We’ve twice come from behind against a good team and wasn’t bowled over by losing a goal late on. We had enough spirit to fight back and almost nicked it in stoppage-time.
“Two of our predominant attacking players scored the goals which will give them confidence. The result, coming off the back of a goalless draw at Orient, suggests we have the right qualities but need to start using them altogether.”
However, it was that word ‘quality’ which most concerned Crawford: “We have some very good players in the squad, and as I said, we battled hard on Sunday. But we looked very nervous at the back and our passing was poor.
“Admittedly, if you are in a relegation battle – and I think we have to admit at the moment that we are – then the ability to dig deep and scrap is most important. But if we can improve elsewhere, then we can comfortably pull clear of the bottom two, although we need to start winning.”
Looking ahead to Saturday’s trip to Crawley Town, Crawford added: “They’ve had a reasonable season, but have slipped off the pace recently. We must go there with confidence and look to build on the last two performances.
“It’s not beyond this team to get a result and start climbing the table. Confidence and consistency are key aspects of football. Steve Ball and the team has to find a way of discovering that before it’s too late.”
Ray Crawford’s prediction: Crawley Town 0-0 Colchester United
Jeevesie’s prediction: Crawley Town 1-1 Colchester United