Colchester United v Swindon Town – Sky Bet League Two – JobServe Community Stadium – Saturday (3pm) – Preview
I think it’s fair to say that Ray Crawford was left surprised as any other Colchester United supporters after the U’s ended their seven-match winless Sky Bet League Two sequence with a resounding 3-0 triumph at play-off hopefuls, Salford City.
Wayne Brown took interim charge of the U’s following the dismissal of Hayden Mullins. Goals from Luke Chambers, Myles Kenlock and Corie Andrews secured an unexpected triumph that lifted the North Essex side six points clear of the dropzone.
“The important thing is that we have won and ended the bad run,” Crawford told Yellow Sport.
“I’m sure most supporters don’t care how or why it happened, but it proved that this group of players has something within them. Why we weren’t seeing that before last Saturday is up for debate. Did they not want to play for the last manager?
“Of course, one swallow doesn’t make a summer. We are still in a lot of trouble towards the bottom of the table, although a little extra breathing space is welcome, particularly with more big games coming up.
“I must say, I still don’t think the Chairman can retrieve the situation with a section of the support following ‘that video’ – But the fans must continue to back the players and Wayne Brown. That unity is going to be vital if we are to pull clear of the relegation zone.
“I don’t think the Colchester supporters can be criticised. They have been brilliant while the football has often been really poor. But the result at Salford could be seen as wiping the slate clean. A new start. And above all, hopefully, a platform to build on.”
The U’s welcome promotion-chasing Swindon Town to the JobServe Community Stadium on Saturday: “It’s a big game for both teams,” Crawford added.
“Swindon are up there and have only lost one of their last five matches. No doubt, they will bring a decent following with them. However, Colchester beat them in the Papa John’s Trophy and drew at the County Ground in the league earlier in the season. A seed of doubt has already been planted.
“The visitors’ will be favourites, but then again, so were Salford last week. The new boys, Owura Edwards, Kenlock and Andrews have already made an impact. Confidence should be lifted.
“But it is now up to the players to prove what they are all about. I remain disappointed that they were unable to hit the heights under the last manager. But that has gone now. We must look no further than the next game.
“Last week gave everyone a lift. I know there’s a long way to go and still plenty to do, but I hope we can carry it on and continue turning a troublesome situation around.”
Ray Crawford’s prediction: Colchester United 1-0 Swindon Town
Jeevesie’s prediction: Colchester United 0-1 Swindon Town