Crawford is keen to see an attack-minded U’s

Brian Jeeves

Newport County v Colchester United – Sky Bet League Two – Rodney Parade – Saturday (3pm) – Preview

Colchester United boss, Matt Bloomfield was faced with going back to the drawing board after witnessing his Colchester United side slip to a single-goal Sky Bet League Two defeat at Swindon Town last weekend.

Despite Robins’ narrow margin of victory, Colchester found themselves on the back foot throughout and now face the potential prospect of slipping to the foot of the table should both Hartlepool United and Crawley Town better the U’s result at Newport County.

Former frontman, Ray Crawford, admitted his concerns but insisted that the new boss is still learning about his squad.

“It was a disappointing result and a poor performance, but the manager will know that,” Crawford told Yellow Sport.

“Having seen Colchester struggle under several different managers, perhaps the real problem is recruitment. I’ve backed these players constantly in this column, but the results have remained largely negative, whoever has been at the helm.

“Matt has had a full week with the group and will undoubtedly have his ideas. But if he feels the need to make changes, he only has one transfer window ahead of him. No doubt he will want some of his players in the building. My concern is that we could become cut adrift. Whether or not the honeymoon period is over remains to be seen. But with the evidence of previous seasons to go by, it is the players that need to shape up.

“The boys showed in patches against Charlton, Harrogate and Gillingham that they are capable. But consistency remains an issue. If they can’t replicate decent displays regularly, then they need to be moved on sooner rather than later.”

The U’s now face a Newport County side that has appointed Graham Coughlan as their new manager: “Coughlan will get County up for it,” Crawford added.

“He was a no-nonsense player and the same will apply to his management. Colchester must start trying to treat fire with fire instead of sitting back and looking to absorb pressure.

“We have this game at Newport, then face Crawley and Stevenage at home. All tough games. Four points from nine are the minimum requirement and even then it might not be enough to keep us out of the relegation zone if results go against us.

“It’s rare for me to predict a defeat. I usually try to provide a confident spin on things. But unless we can play on the front foot, I think it will be a case of more of the same this week.

“I’m confident we have the right manager going forward, but I’m unsure he has the right players at his disposal.”

Ray Crawford’s prediction: Newport County 2-0 Colchester United
Jeevesie’s prediction: Newport County 1-0 Colchester United


Brian Jeeves