Cameron James believes that Colchester United can beat Doncaster and also make the play-offs
PUBLISHED: 16:55 12 April 2017 | UPDATED: 16:55 12 April 2017
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Cameron James believes that Colchester United “have enough” to not only beat already-promoted Doncaster Rovers tomorrow (3pm kick-off), but to go on and clinch a League Two play-off place.
Teenage centre-half James has been a revelation since he burst onto the first-team scene, coping well with man-mountain Ade Akinfenwa in his first start, a 1-0 home win over Wycombe Wanderers on February 21.
James has gone on to start the last 10 games in a row, and he is relishing the challenge of playing Doncaster, the best team in the league.
“We are right in the mix, just two points off the play-offs and with three home games still to come,” explained James.
“As everyone knows, we are very good at home at the moment, with the second best record in the division behind Doncaster.
“We’re now aiming to go unbeaten in our last five games, and to come away with as many wins as possible to get as close as we can to the play-offs.
“It should be a cracking game, against Doncaster. They will be in high spirits, having just won promotion.
“But I think we have enough to go and win this game, because our home form has been excellent.
“It all came together well last weekend. We had a meeting after the Notts County match (3-1 away defeat last Saturday week), when we all had a chance to air our views.
“We all agreed that we have got more than enough to get into the play-offs, if we all stick together. It’s more than do-able.
“We all believe it, and it showed against Stevenage (4-0 home win last weekend).
“We’re not looking at getting any favours from elsewhere, because there are so many teams in contention, and this league is so up-and-down.
“In fact, you can’t really predict any scores.
“And we certainly don’t fear any team.
“When we go on a run, it breeds confidence, as proved earlier in the season (nine-game unbeaten run from late November), and if we can go on a run during the last few games, then I think we will get in the play-offs,” added James.
Chelmsford-born James has been with the U’s since the age of nine, progressing through the Academy to finally make his U’s debut on the final day of last season, as a second-half substitute during the 2-1 home defeat to Rochdale.
He made further substitute appearances earlier this season, against Southampton Under-23s in the Checkatrade Trophy on October 4, and against Newport in the league (0-0 draw) just four days later.
But he is now well-and-truly established in the senior starting line-up, playing in the last 10 matches, which have featured five wins out of six at home, but only one point from four matches on the road.
“Our away form has not been the best, we know that, but I’m not too concerned because I think we can work on that,” continued James.
“We have two very winnable away games left (at Morecambe on Easter Monday and at Leyton Orient on April 29), and I’m sure we can turn it around now, rather than wait to address the issue next season.”
Referring to his own personal form, James enthused: “This has been a real bonus for me, playing so many games at this stage of my career.
“I was not expecting that. If someone had told me that I would play 10 games in a row, and still be in the team near the end of the season, then I wouldn’t have believed them!
“I think that I’ve been playing well, and I’ve managed to keep my place.
“Playing each game is giving me greater confidence, I feel like I’ve developed as a player.
“I’ve got used to the intensity, as opposed to just playing for the under-23s.
“I’ve come across some big strikers in recent weeks, like Shola Ameobi and Jon Stead (Notts County’s strike-force), and having to deal with them. That doesn’t happen playing for the under-23s!
“I can play in various positions, but I like playing sweeper – it gives me more license with the ball.
“And for us to keep a clean-sheet last week was massive.
“We hadn’t had a clean-sheet like that for a while. It was a big boost for the whole team, going into these last five games,” concluded James.
The U’s are currently two points and three places adrift of the top-seven, so are very much in contention.
It will be no surprise if boss John McGreal selects the same side tomorrow.