U’s targeting three league wins on the bounce

PUBLISHED: 06:08 23 October 2018

John McGreal, hoping his U's side can make it three league wins on the bounce at Grimsby Town tonight. Picture; STEVE WALLER

John McGreal, hoping his U's side can make it three league wins on the bounce at Grimsby Town tonight. Picture; STEVE WALLER

© Copyright Stephen Waller

Ambitious Colchester United have an outside chance of even breaking into the automatic promotion zone, when they travel to Cleethorpes to take on hosts Grimsby Town this evening.

John McGreal’s men have risen to fifth spot in League Two, just two points adrift of the top three, following back-to-back wins over Crawley Town (3-1 at home) and at Morecambe (1-0).

The U’s are now eying up a third successive league victory, at lowly Grimsby Town – the Essex club have not won three league games on the spin for seven months, since beating Stevenage (away, Luton (home) and Forest Green Rovers (away) in late March/early April.

A win at Blundell Park tonight, with third-placed MK Dons (at home to Notts County) and fourth-placed Newport County (at Bury) failing to beat their opponents, would see the U’s burst into the top three. In fact, the U’s could even leapfrog second-placed Exeter, if they lose at Crawley.

Boss McGreal said: “This win (at Morecambe) sets us up nicely for Grimsby.

“I don’t know who puts these fixtures together, but we’ve got to recover and get back into it as soon as we can. We’ll be early on the road on Tuesday morning.

“If we need to change a few things, then we have a good enough squad to do that.

“Sammie (Szmodics) got the all-clear after an X-ray (on his leg). It’s just soft tissue, but he didn’t feel right to play, so Courtney (Senior) came into this position and got his goal. It was a bit of brilliance with the finish.”

Referring to the narrow win at the Globe Arena, McGreal said: “I thought we were excellent in the first half, and were much the better team.

“Morecambe gambled in the second-half. It was backs-to-the-wall and we were hanging on at certain times, not once or twice but on a handful of occasions.

“I thought our back three and the keeper were excellent. Rene (Gilmartin) did not really have a shot to save, due to those ahead of him putting their bodies on the line. We tried to take the sting out of the game, but they kept at us.

“There were lots of positives, and a lovely clean-sheet, while we always looked a threat on the counter-attack.

“We had conceded six goals in our previous two away games (at Oldham and Stevenage), so it was great to get a clean-sheet. It keeps us consolidated in those play-off positions. We had to change it, to a back three, having not had the best set of results away from home of late,” added McGreal.

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