Ray Crawford: U’s must learn to cope with pressure

Brian Jeeves

Colchester United v Walsall – Sky Bet League Two – Job Serve Community Stadium – Saturday (3pm) – Preview

Back-to-back Sky Bet League Two victories over Bradford City and Newport County have ensured Colchester United’s EFL status, but have left Ray Crawford thinking if? when? why? and what?

Having brushed aside the Bantams, Colchester headed to South Wales and came from behind to claim all three points, all but ending the Exiles’ play-off hopes.

“If only we could have played like this all season,” Crawford told Yellow Sport.

“When are we going to find some consistency and more to the point, why can’t this group of players discover it what with all the experience in the team?” he added.

“It appears this group of players are far more comfortable with the pressure off them. But we need a bit more than that. Yes, the results were cracking, but I want to see us picking up points consistently and as a promotion contender. We see to have just about done enough again, and although the squad might be congratulating themselves on avoiding relegation, that isn’t good enough for the supporters.

“What are the supporters getting for their season ticket money? Again, something has to change because the football has been so poor this season. I’d imagine some fans have already made up their minds on whether or not to renew season tickets. The club can’t afford to lose any more fans and certainly need to find a better brand of football for the ones they’ve got.”

Crawford continued: “We have two matches left. The team owe it to those fans to go out with a flourish and provide them with a little hope that next season will be better.

“I know we have won two on the spin, but ultimately, we were in grave danger of relegation until a couple of weeks ago. We’ve lost nineteen matches this season and that isn’t good enough.”

Looking ahead to the visit of Walsall, Crawford added: “They are a club that has endured a similar couple of seasons to our own and their crowd will undoubtedly be thinking the same as ours.

“Two wins from their last three matches had ensured the Saddlers were safe, but they were expected to be amongst the front runners. Walsall boss, Michael Flynn will be wanting to get his own players in during the summer. They could be a different kettle of fish come August.

“Like the U’s, Walsall have nothing but pride to play for so this could be a very open encounter. But we are at home and I expect us to give the supporters what they deserve – a third successive league win.”

Ray Crawford’s prediction: Colchester United 2-0 Walsall
Jeevesie’s prediction: Colchester United 1-1 Walsall

Brian Jeeves

Email: sport@yellowad.co.uk