Colchester United FC Meeting The Opposition.
Tranmere Rovers ‘relieved’ manager Micky Mellon of his duties last Sunday, following a home defeat to Newport County.
It was an awful performance by The Whites at Prenton Park, the goal scored by midfielder Regan Hendry certainly not enough to get a point as the game ended 3-1.
Colchester come into the game this weekend, at The JobServe Community Stadium, on the back of a good away point at Leyton Orient.
Ben Garner’s side will be hoping to replicate the result against Rovers from last year, Junior Tchmadeu netting the winner in the 95th minute.
Ahead of the ninety minutes, I spoke to a supporter of The U’s in Max Harrington.
Colchester finished 15th in League Two last May, they’re now placed 21st as we enter the ‘business end’ of the 2022-23 season. How would you describe the campaign so far? How much of a worry is relegation?
So far it’s been yet another dismal season for the U’s, on the whole performances have been poor and we’re constantly looking over our shoulders. As of writing this the gap is only 6 points and given the form we’re in, relegation is a real worry.
In the January transfer window, players such as Exeter City striker Matt Jay, Port Vale defender Connor Hall and Stevenage midfielder Arthur Read were recruited. How have they settled in at The U’s so far?
We had a good January window, we also signed left back Connor Wood, centre back Fiacre Kelleher and striker Tom Hopper. Kelleher and Hall have looked the best of the bunch, Read has looked good and Hopper just needs the service. It’s funny because everyone you speak to says how amazed they were when we signed Matt Jay, but he hasn’t been the player we expected so far. It’s obviously not all his fault but as fans we’re certainly looking for more from him.
Colchester’s manager is former Charlton Athletic boss Ben Garner, he was appointed at the start of this month. How would you describe his playing style and relationship with fans so far?
It’s very early days, we strangely welcomed him at his first home game on the speakers half way through announcing the team which is classic Col U. From the small sample we’ve seen and from what we’ve heard he’s going to bring an open attacking style of play which we’ve been desperate to see for a while now.
With Garner being Colchester’s third manager this season, how important is it for him to be the correct appointment?
It’s very important, mostly because we want to see an external manager work so the owner doesn’t go back to constant internal appointments. It’s also important because we need stability and we need to kick on and build something, so hopefully we can do that with Garner.
Colchester’s chairman is Robbie Cowling, he has held the role since 2006. What are your thoughts on him and the plans that he has for the club?
Most U’s fans would probably say they aren’t the biggest fan of Cowling. He’s certainly ran us well off the pitch, on the pitch has been a different matter. He certainly put his money in his pocket in Jan and looks to have given up on the poor internal managerial appointments. We just want to see success on the pitch and at the moment he is helping us to do that.
One man to watch out for on Saturday afternoon is Noah Chilvers as he has netted four goals and picked up an assist in 35 games. How would you describe his playing style and his importance to the team?
It’s funny because in the last few games Chilvers has been nowhere near his best and lots of people are wanting him to be dropped. On his day I think he’s our best player, he can influence a game and is a real threat in the opposition’s final third. Hopefully he can get out of the rut he is in and we can see him back to his best.
Where will the key battles be played out at The JobServe Community Stadium?
We’re currently useless in attack so it will become a question of can our defence which has looked ok keep a clean sheet and hopefully we can nick a goal to win it.
What is your score prediction? The last time the two sides met Josh Hawkes and Jake Burton netted in a 2-0 win for Tranmere.
I can see this game being a 1-0 win for either side, I don’t expect to see many goals. I’m trying to be positive so I’ll go with a 1-0 win for the U’s.
What are your thoughts on The Rovers and the sacking of Micky Mellon?
I don’t think Mellon can have too many complaints as it hasn’t been a particularly great season for you guys. Hopefully you don’t have a new manager bounce on Saturday!
Colchester United FC are this week’s hosts at The JobServe Community Stadium, Tranmere have a mixed run of form here. The last win at The U’s came in late March 2019, James Norwood and David Perkins netting as Micky Mellon’s men were gunning for promotion.