'We have not given up on the play-offs' - Colchester United's Ben Stevenson
PUBLISHED: 06:55 29 March 2018
2018 Colchester United Football Club
Ben Stevenson has not ruled out Colchester United's chances of gate-crashing the League Two play-offs, despite the sizeable gap between themselves and the top seven.
Stevenson cannot wait for the visit of league leaders and red-hot promotion favourite Luton Town to the Weston Homes Community Stadium tomorrow afternoon (kick-off 3pm).
It is the first of six matches against the top nine, for the ambitious U’s, during the final seven fixtures of the campaign.
Last Saturday’s 1-0 win at Stevenage, which ended a lean spell of six matches without a victory, lifted the U’s up to 11th spot, although they remain eight points adrift of the play-offs, having played a game more than most of their rivals.
“I wouldn’t say we have given up on the play-offs,” insisted Stevenson.
“OK, we are some way off it, but we have seven games left and we will be going all out to win them all.
“We have to play all the top teams, so we have a chance to take points off them in the process.”
Fresh from last weekend’s 2-0 home win over Football League basement dwellers Barnet, on-song Luton will be looking to complete a league double over the U’s tomorrow, following a 3-0 home win in mid-August.
The title-chasing Hattters reclaimed top spot from Accrington Stanley last weekend, although only on goal difference – Accrington also have two games in hand – but they should be given a stern test by the U’s in the first on a busy Easter schedule.
“It’s a great next few days for us to look forward to,” explained Stevenson.
“We have two big games coming up, firstly against the league leaders.
“We are back at home and we are looking to put a good performance in, for the fans.
“It’s good to embrace challenges, and we always relish the big games.
“We did well against Coventry (2-1 home win on February 13), who are one of the biggest teams in our division. We played really well against them, and we will be looking for a similar performance and a similar result against Luton.
“We are very confident as a team, at the moment, on the back of two good away displays, even going back to the Mansfield away game (1-1 draw on March 10).
“We have had a little dip in form, at home, but I think that was just down to the lack of a cutting edge in the final third of the pitch.
“We relish the bigger games, and we never go into a match thinking we are scared, or anything like that, we just play our game.”