Crawford not surprised by Bloomfield’s exit

Brian Jeeves
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Colchester United v Northampton Town – Sky Bet League Two – JobServe Community Stadium – Saturday (3pm) – Preview

Nothing stays the same in football for too long, and that has been highlighted by the incredible turn of events at Colchester United this week.

Despite last weekend’s defeat at promotion-chasing Carlisle United, most U’s supporters remained optimistic that the team had turned the corner and appeared on course for a mid-table finish.

However, Gareth Ainswoirth’s surprise move from the Wycombe Wanderers hot seat to Queen’s Park Rangers led to Matt Bloomfield answering the call from his former employees and subsequently moving back to Adams Park after just five months at Colchester.

Ray Crawford tried to offer a voice of reason: “Obviously, we are disappointed that Matt has decided to leave so soon, but I’m not really that surprised,” he told Yellow Sport.

“With his Wycombe connection and knowledge of how they operate, he was the obvious choice for the Chairboys. I understand that.

“I don’t think money is a motivator here, just an opportunity to take over a readymade squad, vying for promotion in a higher division and at a club that he knows well.

“I’m a little more disappointed with Colchester for not making a bigger effort to keep him after what he has achieved in such a short space of time. The Chairman told BBC Essex Sport: “You don’t want to handcuff people to a job.

“He obviously has a big association with that club and he’s an ambitious man.” 

That suggests to me that Matt sees Wycombe as more ambitious than Colchester. Why have we not gone out of our way to reassure him that we want to achieve what they have and that he is seen as the man to play an important role in that? It doesn’t seem quite right from here.

“But what’s done is done. Matt has left us in a better position than he found us. He isn’t irreplaceable. The Chairman now has to get the next appointment right – as he did with Matt – to ensure we continue to progress.”

In the meantime, Colchester host Northampton Town on Saturday. The Cobblers’ promotion challenge has hit the buffers of late. Crawford hopes the U’s can capitalise.

“They’ve won one of their last six so confidence is questionable amongst the Northampton players,” he added.

“Of course, the Colchester boys will be concerned. One minute they are going well under a new manager with new ideas. The next minute, he’s gone. But they need to ensure that the events of this week galvanise them and push them on.

“I understand the bond between the players and supporters has grown over the past five months. The clear message must be that this has not changed and that Colchester United are continuing to look forward as opposed to over their shoulder.”

Ray Crawford’s prediction: Colchester United 1-0 Northampton Town

Jeevesie’s prediction: Colchester United 2-1 Northampton Town

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Brian Jeeves

Email: sport@yellowad.co.uk