Ray Crawford: Initially, I would have just been happy for him to steer us clear of relegation, now I’m wondering exactly how far this man can take us

Colchester United v Barrow AFC – Sky Bet League Two – JobServe Community Stadium – Saturday (3pm) – Preview

I think it is fair to say that even during the day times, Ray Crawford has tried to remain positive over Colchester United.

Nevertheless, even the former frontman couldn’t have predicted such an impressive turnaround as Matt Bloomfield continues to build a squad capable of competing in Sky Bet League Two.

Following last week’s dramatic late victory at Hartlepool United, the U’s moved nine points clear of the relegation zone and, sit second in the current form table, such is the impact Bloomfield has had on the North Essex club.

“Initially, I would have just been happy for him to steer us clear of relegation, now I’m wondering exactly how far this man can take us,” Crawford enthusiastically told Yellow Sport.

“No doubt, we are still a little way off where he wants us to be, but we are winning matches and playing decent, honest football. Again, it is easy to get carried away, but you can be anything other than impressed with what matt and the squad are doing.”

Crawford continued: “When we conceded the late equaliser at Hartlepool, I thought that the U’s of three months ago would have crumbled and lost the game. But there’s a new belief installed. We rode it out, snatched a late goal and earned our eighth win of the season. We are looking up instead of over our shoulders.”

Colchester welcomes Barrow to the JobServe Community Stadium on Saturday, a side that has slipped from the play-off places of late following an indifferent run of results.

“We were beaten 3-1 at Holker Street in November and played pretty poorly so we owe them one,” Crawford added.

“We have improved enormously since then. We must not take Barrow lightly. Recently, they held Leyton Orient to a draw at Brisbane Road. It seems that their recent home form is the issue.

“They are still in touching distance of the top seven. The game provides us with an opportunity to see how far we have come. Similar to the recent game with Salford City.

“But I think we all need to adopt the new-found positivity. This is another home game. The team have improved and the supporters can now look forward to watching this team, knowing they are more than capable of taking all three points.”

Ray Crawford’s prediction: Colchester United 1-0 Barrow AFC

Jeevesie’s prediction: Colchester United 2-1 Barrow AFC

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Brian Jeeves

Email: sport@yellowad.co.uk