Monday, September 28, 2009

Exeter Review, Colchester Preview

So, the weekend yielded another three points, we remain unbeaten and we have opened up a four-point gap between us and the chasing pack. Good times? Possibly.

I'll admit that while we were not great for large chunks of Saturday's encounter, esteemed pundits regularly remind us that winning when you're not at your best is the sign of an excellent team.

However, we were playing an adequate side and not one with the same promotion goal as us. If we had been battling a Leeds, a Huddersfield or even a Southend, we may not have been so lucky.

Miguel Llera looked flustered when put under pressure and it is quite evident he prefers to use his patched-up head, rather than his feet, when defensive interception is needed. Sam Sodje, who came on to a pretty decent reception, is probably the same, but he will think he can usurp the 30-year-old Spaniard for a starting place pretty soon.

The Addicks lacked a bit of dynamism in midfield, where Semedo was definitely missed. That is no slight on Matt Spring, who was very solid, despite the young kid behind me slating his every move. It is just that the Portuguese is more of a hustler, so let's hope his injury clears up soon.

To be fair to the Grecians, they did give us a few problems. On-loan Plymouth winger Craig Noone was a real menace and was probably only withdrawn late on due to the foot injury that nearly forced him to miss the game. With his parent club, the Green Army, struggling so profusely, it is amazing that he is not part of their immediate plans.

Back to the Addicks, though, and bigger tests are coming thick and fast. Colchester are a decent third-tier club, their current fifth-placed position proving that. And while we should be aiming for a victory, the U's will make it severely difficult for us as they try to annoy the manager that led them out of this division three years ago.

There is still a lot of resentment for the way Parky left the Essex-based club to join Hull City, though United did get their revenge by beating his Tigers outfit 5-1 at Layer Road in November 2006, a result that ultimately cost the 41-year-old his job with the Humbersiders.

We will also be meeting a couple of old acquaintances on our first visit to the Weston Homes Community Stadium (bit of a mouthful). The enigma that is Kevin Lisbie will be looking to score against us to add to the three he netted when both clubs were in the Championship two seasons previous, while Kem Izzet, who started his career with the Addicks but never played a game, will also want to put in a performance. The talented midfielder is available for Aidy Boothroyd after serving a three-match ban for being sent off against Southampton at the start of the month.

The U's will not be easy to beat but if we want to go up automatically, we have to see this as a game to be won and not settle for a draw. If the attitude is positive, our higher calibre of player should ensure three points and set us up nicely for the mouth-watering clash with Leeds at the weekend.

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