Colchester United keeper Sam Walker: ‘Our season is up and running’

PUBLISHED: 06:00 10 October 2017

Sam Walker, bang in form after two clean-sheets, applauds U's away fans after the opening day defeat at Accrington. Photo by: RICHATD BLAXALL

Sam Walker, bang in form after two clean-sheets, applauds U's away fans after the opening day defeat at Accrington. Photo by: RICHATD BLAXALL

Sam Walker believes that Colchester United have “turned a corner” this season.

Walker kept his second successive clean-sheet, in League Two, to help the U’s to a 2-0 home win over Mansfield Town on Saturday, following hot on the heels of a 1-0 victory at Yeovil the previous weekend.

The previous 12 league and cup games had failed to produce a clean-sheet, leaving John McGreal’s men down in 21st spot before their recent resurgence.

Now Walker, who is vastly experienced with 179 senior appearances under his belt in a Colchester shirt, is predicting big things over the weeks and months ahead.

“I feel like our season is up and running, and that we have turned a corner,” enthused Walker.

“I felt we had been simmering beneath the surface a little bit, showing a real promise in our performances without quite getting the results.

“But the little week on the road, culminating in the win at Yeovil, has really helped us out.

“We got that first clean-sheet of the season, and also that first away win – we got that monkey off our back.

“And on Saturday we wiped the floor with Mansfield, who are arguably one of the better teams in the league,” added Walker.

A haul of seven points from a possible nine in their last three fixtures – it would have been a perfect nine but for conceding an 89th minute equaliser at Grimsby Town in a 2-2 draw last Tuesday week – has seen the U’s to rise to 15th in the table, 10 points clear of the drop zone and now only six points adrift of the play-offs.

But it wasn’t just the result on Saturday, achieved by first-half goals from Sean Murray and Mikael Mandron, which impressed Walker. It was the performance as a whole.

“I was delighted to keep a clean-sheet. I thought we were outstanding, in every department,” said Walker.

“In fact, that was one of the most complete performances I can remember for a little while.

“Mansfield are a side with a good budget, and they would come here backing themselves, having beaten (league leaders) Notts County (3-1) only the previous weekend.

“They came with all their little bits and pieces, talking to the referee, but we stood firm and we stood strong.

“We spoke about setting a precedent, about stamping our authority on the game, and we never looked back really.”

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