Ray Crawford: Colchester must play without pressure

Colchester United v Scunthorpe United – JobServe Community Stadium – Sky Bet League Two – Saturday 3pm

Colchester United v Scunthorpe United – Preview:

An emphatic 3-0 demolition of Carlisle United at Brunton Park lifted Colchester United back into the play-off places, much to the delight of former frontman, Ray Crawford.

Having been present when the U’s went down 2-0 to Cheltenham Town a week previous, Crawford heard several supporters suggesting that Colchester perform better, and without pressure, away from home. However, the one-time England man used his own experiences in the game to offer advice to the current U’s crop.

“I don’t know about all this ‘more pressure playing at home’ malarkey?

“I was playing professional football – home or away – I gave everything I could because I enjoyed it. That way I took the pressure off myself. I loved playing the game.

“I get the fact it is a results business and these boys are possibly playing for contracts, etc. But how many people would simply give anything just to play one professional football match? If the pressure gets to you doing a job like this, then you won’t progress at Colchester United or anywhere else for that matter.”

Crawford continued: “The boys have to play without fear. We’ve had a wobble but still won three of our last six – we are still involved in the chase for a play-off place – the players need to enjoy that situation. I mean, imagine if you were at Stevenage at the moment, staring relegation from the league in the face or even Southend, where the whole future is uncertain. I don’t think we are under the same pressure as the boys playing there. We have to embrace the situation we are in.”

The U’s face Scunthorpe United at the JobServe Community Stadium on Saturday – a side heading to North Essex after back-to-back defeats.
“I know Scunthorpe are towards the bottom end of the table, but I don’t think relegation is hanging over them so they can come and play.

“It’s up to the Colchester boys to dictate the pace of the game right from the start – which we are more than capable of – and get the job done effectively.

“There isn’t any room for error – I think down to Bradford City in ninth, teams are eyeing up the play-offs. It’s simply down to finding a bit of consistency and enjoying the job in hand. Colchester has the squad to get over the line. They just have to believe that, themselves.”

Colchester United v Scunthorpe United – Head to head:

Colchester United won: 16
Drawn: 22
Scunthorpe United won: 25

Colchester United v Scunthorpe United – Last five meetings (all competitions):

October 18, 2014 – League One
Scunthorpe United 1-1 Colchester United

April 18, 2015 – League One
Colchester United 2-2 Scunthorpe United

August 29, 2015 – League One
Colchester United 2-2 Scunthorpe United

January 23, 2016 – League One
Scunthorpe United 3-0 Colchester United

December 14, 2019 – League Two
Scunthorpe United 2-2 Colchester United

Ray Crawford’s prediction: Colchester United 3-0 Scunthorpe United
Jeevesie’s prediction: Colchester United 2-0 Scunthorpe United

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Brian Jeeves

Email: [email protected]