McGreal targets back-to-back league wins for U’s

PUBLISHED: 21:38 18 October 2018

U's boss John McGreal

U's boss John McGreal

© Copyright Stephen Waller

Colchester United face up to a 600-mile round trip this weekend, in the quest for back-to-back league victories for the first time this season.

The U's management team, with John McGreal and his assistant Steve Ball directing affairs, at Stevenage. Picture: PAGEPIXThe U's management team, with John McGreal and his assistant Steve Ball directing affairs, at Stevenage. Picture: PAGEPIX

The U’s have always bounced back from a rare defeat, by winning their very next league match, a prime reason why they are currently riding high in sixth spot in the League Two table.

But the reason that they are not any higher is partly due to their failure to string together a number of wins on the spin – McGreal’s men are yet to record successive league wins after two-and-a-half months of the campaign.

Tomorrow, though, they have a chance to put the record straight at Morecambe, following on from last Saturday’s impressive 3-1 home win over Crawley Town.

The Shrimps are bang in form themselves, having chalked up three wins in their last five league fixtures, but the U’s will fancy their chances at the Globe Arena, despite their poor record against the north-west club.

“We have yet to beat Morecambe,” admitted McGreal.

“We’ve played them four times (in the league) and they have all been very tight games (four draws, including two 0-0 stalemates).

“We have not yet won back-to-back league games. We have in the league and cup (2-0 win over Southend in the Checkatrade Trophy, followed by the league success over Crawley), but not in the league, and the lads would like to change that this weekend.

“We found a different way to win last weekend, after the blow of conceding a (harsh) penalty just before half-time to go in at 1-1.

“The club is in a good place at the moment. We are the highest scorers in the league (28 goals in 13 matches), and that means we are entertaining to watch as well.

“I think we have a closer association with our fans, and we are continually wanting to raise the profile of the football club.

“We are all on a journey together, and the link between the players and the fans is a strong one.”

McGreal continued: “This weekend is another big trip for us, but we are used to that, especially down here.

“Only one away match has not been an overnight stop so far, to Stevenage, so the boys have got to know each other very well. They are in each other’s pockets, which is a good thing.

“It all started from pre-season, when the chairman (Robbie Cowling) provided the money for us to go on a short pre-season tour of four of five days.

“Morecambe promises to be our second longest trip of the season, after Carlisle (scheduled for Saturday, December 15), but it’s a good time to go up and play them, with all this Spring-like weather.”

U’s boss McGreal could name an unchanged side this weekend, despite being spoilt for choice with the likes of Mikael Mandron, Brandon Comley, Brennan Dickenson and Frankie Kent all waiting in the wings.

“It’s the start of a run of three games over the next eight days,” continued McGreal, with reference to next Tuesday evening’s trip to Grimsby Town and the following Saturday’s mouth-watering home encounter against league leaders Lincoln City.

“Of course we all look at the table, players, managers and fans alike. These three games are all tough in different ways, but you can only go game-by-game.

“Morecambe had a terrific (2-0) win away at Carlisle last weekend. They have really picked up of late, and I know their manager Jim Bentley very well.

“They have some dangerous players, and we know all about Liam Mandeville (on loan with the U’s from Doncaster last season). He’s scored a couple of goals for them this season.

“They have a settled side at the moment, and that can really help, as we have seen ourselves. They are getting some good results.”

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