Tomorrow, Town take on a Colchester United team that have recently triumped over sides in the top six - a run that has take them into mid-table - and the manager asserted his belief that League 1 is a wide open division this term.
“We’re well in touch with the leaders and we don’t want to lose sight of what we’re trying to do," he said. "We know it’s a new group and we’re trying to play in a similar way but we’ve got different players so we have to adapt a little bit and that will take a bit of time. I keep saying it, we need to get the new players integrated into the way we do things. It’s a totally different dynamic to last year’s team. All I’d say to the fans is that I understand their frustration. Just try and keep behind the players because they’re going to need it.
“It’s a crazy league this year,” he continued. “Everyone is beating everybody. I said after the Sheffield United game when they beat us that, if anyone finishes above them, they’ll win the league but they’ve lost their last two games and were lucky to get a draw on Sunday so it’s a wide open league. If you win two or three games you can be top so there’s a lot to play for."
The Town boss then outlined the threats that Colchester would pose his side on Saturday afternoon.
“They’re a very good counter-attacking team,” he explained. “They’ve got a lot of pace in the front area of the pitch. George Moncur - whose dad is obviously familiar to these parts – he was a really good player and George is following the family tradition, scoring a lot of goals from the 'number 10' position. They’re a threat, they counter-attack really quickly, (they have a) lot of pace so it should be a good game."
When asked what the team had been working on this week in preparation for the visit of the U's, he added: “Just being a bit of a better unit and trying to create more chances. We’ve got some decent forwards now and we’ve got to give them a bit more to go on.”
The manager then turned to Town’s injury list and revealed that Jermaine Hylton and Jon Obika came through a development game in midweek before adding that Nathan Thompson would be set for another spell on the sidelines.
“They both came through a development game in the week. Jermaine was very good and Jon scored two goals. So we know now that off the bench we’ve got two changes that should affect the game.
“It’s the same injury he (Nathan) did at Southend. He trained for two weeks perfectly, we gave him an extra week - he was scheduled to play against Barnsley so the physio decided to give him an extra week to make sure and he trained perfectly. Then, in the 95th minute, he overstretched and it went again so it’s just one of those things. We’ll have to be extra cautious with Nathan and make sure he’s 150% before he plays. You can look into it deeper but we’ll take it as face value: it’s a groin strain and the physio will be working hard to get him right."
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