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Match Previews

PREVIEW: COLCHESTER UNITED (H)

1 March 2019

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Swindon have only lost one of their last seven as they head into a potentially decisive game against fifth-placed Colchester.

Four wins and two draws have seen the Town become part of the chasing pack behind the top seven and Richie Wellens said that this is a precarious place to be.

“When you’re chasing, it’s always difficult. People keep saying that we’re only six points off with a game in hand.

“But, if we lose this weekend and other teams win – we’re then nine points off, and the games remaining get smaller.

“It’s difficult. If we continue our points ratio per game since the turn of the year, we will be there or thereabouts.”

Since Wellens took over back in November, with the club 17th in League Two, Swindon have only lost four league games (including the immediate game two days after Wellens’ arrival).

Town will be without the injured Michael Doughty and Matty Taylor, with none of the injury list looking set to return this weekend.

The Oppo

It’s been a topsy-turvy start to 2019 for Colchester – they’ve gone 3-3-3 for wins, draw and losses since the turn of the year.

They’ve scored lots, only failing to once in the new year - on New Year’s Day away at Crawley. They’ve hit big against Port Vale, Northampton and Cheltenham with the first two coming away from home.

Sammie Szmodics, who was on target the last time the two teams met back in November, is the U’s top goalscorer with 11 goals followed by ex-Robin Luke Norris, who picked up a knee injury in the reverse fixture.

Head-to-Head

Swindon will be looking to overcome the U’s for the first time in the fourth tier for the first time since 2004. The last victory over the Essex

28 Apr 2015        Colchester United v Swindon Town          D             1-1          League One

26 Sep 2015        Swindon Town v Colchester United          L              1-2          League One

13 Feb 2016        Colchester United v Swindon Town          W            1-4          League One

15 Dec 2017        Swindon Town v Colchester United          L              2-3          League Two

28 Apr 2018        Colchester United v Swindon Town          D             0-0          League Two

03 Nov 2018        Colchester United v Swindon Town          L              1-0          League Two

The Gaffer

John McGreal made over 450 apearances over a 17-year playing career but only played for three clubs – Tranmere where spent nine years, Ipswich and Burnley.

 His career came to an end in 2007, and despite considering going into property management, he was convinced to take a coaching degree at Keel University. Within a year he had his UEFA B Licence under his belt, and took up a job in Colchester’s academy.

After working his way up through the academy, he was named interim manager in 2015 after Tony Humes’ dismissal. In 2016, following the club’s relegation to League Two, McGreal was appointed Kevin Keen’s successor earning his first win against Cambridge United in August 2016.


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