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Cheltenham Town v Colchester United – Jonny-Rocks Stadium – Sky Bet League Two – Saturday 3pm
Cheltenham Town v Colchester United – Preview:
RAY CRAWFORD hopes the international break has offered the Colchester United players some valuable rest and recuperation as they continue their quest for honours on three fronts.
The absence of Luke Gambin (Malta), Callum Harriott (Guyana), and Brandon Comley, (Monserrat) with their respective countries led to the postponement of the U’s Sky Bet League Two clash with Bradford City. However, having previously banked a Carabao Cup quarter-final tie at Manchester United as wells as beating local rivals Ipswich Town to book a leasing.com Trophy clash with Stevenage, Crawford hoped that the fresh and positive mindset would help the North Essex side as they restart their league programme at fellow play-off hopefuls, Cheltenham Town, on Saturday.
“These things can go one of two ways – you come back refreshed or lose momentum,” Crawford told Yellow Sport.
“I always remember we felt ready to go again after Sir Alf Ramsey took us away when I was at Ipswich. I hope it does the same for this modern-day U’s team.
“I think the boys have shown good mental strength of late. Defensively, we look ‘on the money’ and seem to be able to find a goal when we need one. The win over Ipswich will have lifted everyone, simply because that’s what a positive derby result does.”
Crawford continued: “Cheltenham will provide a tough test for Colchester. They are above us in the league but their recent form has been patchy, particularly against other teams around them in the promotion race.
“Colchester can go level on points with them if we win there. That and other results going our way could get us back in the play-off places – which for me, is the first major incentive.
“The second is Manchester United and Old Trafford. This is the best squad Colchester have had in several years. They all look capable and will all be itching to play when the United game comes around.
“The boys must get back to business quickly. John McGreal knows he can call upon someone else if a player is under-performing. I think that will keep the boys on their toes and can help them get the right result at Cheltenham this weekend.”
Cheltenham Town v Colchester United – Head to head:
Cheltenham Town won: 5
Colchester United won: 8
Cheltenham Town v Colchester United – Last five meetings (all competitions):
September 16, 2017 – League Two
Cheltenham Town 3-1 Colchester United
January 8, 2018 – League TwoColchester United 1-4 Cheltenham Town
August 14, 2018 – League Cup first round
Cheltenham Town 2-2 Colchester United
(Cheltenham Town won 6-5 on penalties)
September 1, 2018 – League Two
Cheltenham Town 1-3 Colchester United
February 9, 2019 – League Two Colchester United 3-0 Cheltenham Town
Ray Crawford’s prediction: Cheltenham Town 0-1 Colchester United
Jeevesie’s prediction: Cheltenham Town 1-1 Colchester United