Ray Crawford: Colchester need to steady the ship

Port Vale v Colchester United – Vale Park – Sky Bet League Two – Saturday 3pm

Port Vale v Colchester United – Preview:

Ray Crawford has urged the Colchester United players to dig deep after they suffered their second defeat in three Sky Bet League Two matches as Grimsby Town plundered the points at the JobServe Community Stadium.

U’s twice lead through Luke Prosser and Theo Robinson. However, the Mariners hit back with Charles Vernham bagging an impressive hat-trick to secure a 3-2 success for the Cleethorpes-based outfit.

“Colchester need to steady the ship, and quickly,” Crawford explained.

“We haven’t just become a bad side overnight. The players have to remember that and find a little extra. That’s what any team chasing promotion or harbouring ambitions must do.

“My concern is with the defence. We have been watertight for a while, but now we have conceded five goals in three matches and it has been costly. I thought we’d bounced back against Plymouth. Now we have to do it again against a tough Port Vale team.”

On the trip to Vale Park, Crawford added: “They are flying at the moment and will go above Colchester if they beat us. It is a blow for them that Mitchell Clark and Tom Pope are suspended, but they will still be gunning for us, knowing a win would see them jump into the play-off places.

“But as we saw last week, Colchester are more than capable against the top sides in the division. John McGreal has to instal that back into them – they have to believe they can get a positive result at Vale Park.

“The top three places are edging away, but missing the play-offs is unthinkable. It’s up to this group of players to prove they have the mental toughness and quality to get over the line and calm the supporters, whose nerves must be shot to bits right now.”

Port Vale v Colchester United – Head to head:

Port Vale won: 20
Drawn: 15
Colchester United won: 25

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

December 23, 2017 – League Two
Colchester United 1-1 Port Vale

January 27, 2018 – League Two
Port Vale 2-2 Colchester United

August 11, 2018 – League Two
Colchester United 2-0 Port Vale

January 12, 2019 – League Two
Port Vale 0-3 Colchester United

August 3, 2019 – League Two
Colchester United 1-1 Port Vale

Ray Crawford’s prediction: Port Vale 0-1 Colchester United
Jeevesie’s prediction: Port Vale 1-1 Colchester United

Brian Jeeves

Email: [email protected]