Ray Crawford: At the moment, it doesn’t seem like the season to be particularly jolly!

Sky Bet Lague Two – Preview

Colchester United v Salford City – JobServe Community Stadium (22/12/23)
MK Dons v Colchester United – Stadium MK (26/12/23)
AFC Wimbledon v Colchester United – Plough Lane (29/12/23)
Colchester United v Gillingham – Jobserve Community Stadium (01/01/24)

As relegation-threatened Colchester United approach their busy festive schedule, their former frontman, Ray Crawford, is concerned that the U’s might head into 2024 in an irretrievable position should they not find a way to break their recent cycle of poor results.

Colchester’s 2-1 defeat at ten-man Wrexham was their fifth on the bounce and fourteenth on the campaign – more than any of their rivals towards the bottom of Sky Bet League Two.

“Even at the stage of the season, the situation looks quite desperate,” Crawford told Yellow Sport.

“We somehow need to find a win. A lucky win. A win we don’t deserve. It doesn’t matter. We just need to end this horrible run of defeats.

“I think we have spoken about relegation eventually catching up with Colchester. The signs are ominous right now. The supports are agitated and concerned, and I feel the same way. Something positive needs to happen quickly because we seem to be out of ideas, luck and confidence.”

Crawford continued: “We have four very difficult matches over Christmas and New Year, with recovery time at a premium. Sometimes that leads to one or two surprise results. It’s all a bit of a lottery.

“Once again, we are not in a position to target certain matches. Friday’s visitors, Salford City, have been struggling for results. They are without a win in six league matches but have forced goalless draws with promotion-chasing Stockport, Wimbledon and Barrow.

“MK Dons, Wimbledon and Gillingham are all in the mix and will target the play-offs at the very least. I see the home games with Salford and Gillingham as our best chance of a win, but looking at the reactions from supporters, I think they are living in hope as opposed to expectation.

“We are already nearing the halfway point of the season and having lost fourteen matches, the room for error is minimal. Of course, we are still five points above the relegation zone, which is a plus. We need to somehow maintain that. It’s no good hoping that two teams will be worse than us.

“League Two has always been a ruthless, tough division. We need to go back to basics. Don’t over-complicate things. We are at the bottom end of the league because the players aren’t good enough to be higher up. It is up to the manager to concentrate on what strengths they have and try to add some stability to the squad when the transfer window opens.

“Unfortunately, we seem to be saying the same things year-in, year-out, week-in, week-out. I desperately want to see Colchester United do well and start climbing the league. I don’t doubt the supporters feel the same way. Who else is with us? Because at the moment, it doesn’t seem like the season to be particularly jolly!”

Ray Crawford’s predictions;
Colchester United 1-1 Salford City
MK Dons 2-0 Colchester United
AFC Wimbledon 2-0 Colchester United
Colchester United 1-1 Gillingham

Jeevesie’s predictions;
Colchester United 0-0 Salford City – JobServe Community Stadium
MK Dons 3-0 Colchester United – Stadium MK
AFC Wimbledon 2-1 Colchester United – Plough Lane
Colchester United 0-1 Gillingham

Brian Jeeves

Email: sport@yellowad.co.uk