‘The boys have got a big reputation at home’ – McGreal

PUBLISHED: 06:00 24 November 2018

Sammie Szmodics (far right, partly hidden) nets the U's third in last season's  3-1 home win over Exeter City, who are today's visitors.  Picture: STEVE WALLER

Sammie Szmodics (far right, partly hidden) nets the U's third in last season's 3-1 home win over Exeter City, who are today's visitors. Picture: STEVE WALLER

© Copyright Stephen Waller

Colchester United have the best home record in League Two, and they want to keep it that way.

John McGreal’s men may have troubles on the road – they have lost their last three matches, all away from home – but they are a very different proposition at the Jobserve Community Stadium.

Promotion rivals Exeter City are in town today, and they will have to be at their very best to derail a U’s side who have won seven of their first nine home league games, to accumulate an impressive 21 points from a possible 27.

“The boys have got a big reputation at home,” enthused boss McGreal.

“Seven wins from nine at home represents an unbelievable start to the season for us , and we have often been helped by getting a goal early on.

“It’s no different to away from home, though. We have tended to start well in our away matches as well, but without getting that early goal.

“Being at home is a big thing for us, and it’s nice to be going back there after losing two cup games on the road, and losing a tight league game last weekend (2-0 at Newport County).

“Our last home match was a good win over Swindon (1-0), and we’d like a similar result this weekend against an Exeter side who are a big scalp at this level, and who reached the play-offs last season.

“(Manager) Matt (Taylor) has got them going again this season. Exeter could have felt sorry for themselves, after losing in the play-offs, but they have not done that, despite losing a few players over the summer as well.

“They have fallen away a little of late, which has allowed us to just get above them, but I am expecting a very good game of football. Once again, we will be hoping for a good start to the game,” added McGreal.

Although the U’s will again be without their leading scorer, Luke Norris, due to an ankle injury, McGreal is hoping for other players to step up to the plate.

Frank Nouble has taken on the centre-forward duties in recent weeks, while Sammie Szmodics has already bagged six goals this term.

“They have a job to do, to replace Luke, and its up to the strikers at the club to do just that. They are goalscorers who need to do what it says on the tin! They need to be getting into scoring areas,” added McGreal.

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