Sutton United v Colchester United – Sky Bet League Two – Gander Green Lane – Tuesday (7:45pm) – Preview
Firstly, may I wish our regular Colchester United columnist, Ray Crawford a swift recovery from COVID. I understand he’s over the worst of it and is enjoying a spot of isolation with full access to the telly controls. Hopefully, he will be back offering his thoughts on the U’s ahead of this weekends Sky Bet League Two clash with Salford City.
In the meantime, Colchester’s slide continued at the weekend as fellow strugglers, Barrow won by two unanswered goals. Familiar failings in front of goal, coupled with an inability to retrieve the situation has left the U’s teetering just three points above the dropzone with the bottom two now within touching distance.
Pressure from the supporters ramped up upon Manager, Hayden Mullins and Chairman, Robbie Cowling – the latter far from helping build bridges during a heated exchange with a group of fans, captured and posted on social media, where he declared that the football club belonged to him and not the fans.
Having greased an already slippery slope, I find it difficult to see how Mr Cowling can repair the damage. The fans pay their money, they too have a right to an opinion. They are angry and frustrated. Having staved off relegation last season, the U’s now find themselves in a similar position. Recruitment has been poor, the football uninspiring. Lessons haven’t been learned. Clearly, there is a major problem.
Home attendances remain pitiful. Why is nobody at the club questioning why the supporters are staying away and offering an olive branch, particularly at a time when Mullins and his beleaguered squad need the fans the most?
Colchester’s next three matches see them take on Sutton United, Salford City and Swindon Town – all clubs harbouring ambitions of promotion and seemingly better equipped to challenge. Looking in from the outside, I find it increasingly difficult to see the U’s getting much change from any of these fixtures. The trap door creaking with no solution forthcoming.
Whether it be the manager or the players, on a footballing front something has got to change fast. I’d wager the majority of Colchester supporters heading to Gander Green Lane are travelling more in hope than expectation. The host are unbeaten in four and sitting just a point shy of the automatic promotion places. Fan’s have every right to ask why Colchester are unable to match that ambition?
Mullins has recruited winger, Owura Edwards on the eve of the game, on loan from Bristol City, while defender, Tom Dallison, midfielder, Emyr Huws and striker, Corie Andrews came in ahead of Barrow’s visit.
But with patience wearing thin amongst the support, Mullins can only hope his new charges hit the ground running and provide a much missing spark to a squad low on confidence, and on recent evidence, ability too.
Jeevesie’s prediction: Sutton United 2-0 Colchester United