“We will be trying to mix things up a bit” – Colchester United boss John McGreal ahead of trip to Crewe

PUBLISHED: 12:30 17 March 2017

U's boss John McGreal checks his watch during the closing minutes of Tuesday night's 2-0 win over Mansfield. Picture: STEVE WALLER

U's boss John McGreal checks his watch during the closing minutes of Tuesday night's 2-0 win over Mansfield. Picture: STEVE WALLER

© Copyright Stephen Waller

Colchester United boss, John McGreal, is searching for that winning formula away from home, starting at Crewe Alexandra tomorrow afternoon.

While the U’s have done wonders on home turf, winning eight of their last 10 matches at the Weston Homes Community Stadium, they have struggled to find success on the road.

In fact, the U’s are still waiting for their first away win of 2017, following three draws and three defeats in their last six road trips, amounting to a mere three points collected from a possible 18.

“We will be trying to mix things up a little bit, to get that away win,” revealed McGreal.

“But I’m not too down about the away results of late, because performances have continued to be good. We played well at Grimsby, and were unlucky to lose, and we had a lot of the ball at Cambridge (1-1 draw). Results-wise, we should have had a couple more wins, but basically losing seven of your starting XI to injuries has had an effect.”

The absentees referred to by McGreal include defenders Tom Eastman, Frankie Kent, Lloyd Doyley and Lewis Kinsella (now back in the squad, and on the bench), midfielders Craig Slater and Owen Garvan, plus strikers Denny Johnstone and Kurtis Guthrie.

McGreal continued: “We need to find that consistency of winning football matches, and we can do that in that different ways, like on Tuesday night (2-0 home win over Mansfield). That was a different type of performance.

“It doesn’t really matter how you win, and that applies across all the divisions. The crux of Tuesday night was producing a good defensive performance, and getting a lovely clean-sheet.

“We have now achieved double-figures (10) for clean-sheets this season, and goals-wise Brennan Dickenson has now made double figures (10). I always take joy from keeping clean-sheets and defending, because good blocks at one end are just like scoring goals at the other end.

“Crewe will provide a different type of opposition. They play football the right way, and promote within, and they have had two good away wins lately, at Crawley and at Portsmouth.

“So we will need to put on a performance to warrant a win,” added McGreal.

The U’s have nine games left.

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