After last weekend’s good performance but eventual sucker punch, we move on to tonight’s away game against Colchester United. The U's started their League one campaign with two 1-0 wins, one away at Gillingham and one at home to Port Vale. It put them in fourth position and following the wins up with two draws kept them there. Unfortunately, those two draws were part of an 11 game winless streak which pushed the U's down into 16th place by late October. They stopped the rot with a creditable 1-0 win at home to Peterborough, but their next six games contained only one win which saw them drop further into 18th place. However, in their last 6 games Colchester have seen an upward surge in form, losing only once and winning four times to push them back up the table into 12th place with 34 points.
Head to Head
In 43 league games between Shrewsbury and Colchester, we have won 19 times and the U's have won 13. Our best result against the Essex club was a 4-0 away win in April1965. Colchester’s best win against us was a 6-0 home win in September1956. Our last three league games against the U's were all draws and the last time we took three points at Colchester was back in September 1992 when we won 2-0 at the U's previous ground, Layer Road.
Jabo Ebehre has scored six times for Colchester this season, five times in League one and once in the League cup in a 5-1 defeat at home to Peterborough. The striker started his career in London with Leyton Orient, beginning in their youth team and going on to make over 200 appearances in their first team, scoring 36 times. When he was released by Orient in 2008, he signed for Walsall and went on to score ten times in 39 league games. He turned down another Walsall deal at the start of the following season and moved on to Milton Keynes, where he stayed for four years. After three games for Milton Keynes he was sent on loan to Southend, making four goalless appearances before returning. The following year he went on loan to Stockport County and played 20 times, scoring five. In 2012 he went on loan again, this time to his current club. He scored four times in his fourteen games for the U's, enough to earn him a contract which started in January 2012. Since then he's played in 38 league games for the Essex club, scoring nine times.
Four at home and three away.
Referee - Gary Sutton from Lincolnshire. Games this season: 14. Yellow cards: 47. Red cards: 3.
Assistants - Dave Bushell and Nicholas Kinseley.
Fourth Official - Ian Cooper.
Colchester - Loan Leicester defender Alie Sesay may make his début for the U's. Striker Gavin Massey has returned to training after an injury and Tom Eastman has recovered from a back injury sustained in their last game.
Shrewsbury - Luke Summerfield and Aaron Wildig are both progressing well but are both doubtful for tonight.
If we can repeat the performance we put on in the second half against Swindon, we won’t go too far wrong. The only things we need to change are our goals for and against statistics. By all accounts, we were unlucky not to come away from Swindon with at least a point, and I for one am encouraged by what I heard on the radio on Saturday. Colchester are in a run of decent form, so it's unlikely to be an easy task, but I believe that we can get our third away win of the season. A 2-1 win for Shrewsbury Town!
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Mike Jackson’s thoughts ahead of the Colchester United trip
On the Swindon game at the weekend...
I'm disappointed. In one way was in respect to the goals we gave away, but in terms of performance I thought that everyone could see that there was a big improvement in regards to what we asked them to do. The shape, the discipline and the chances we created. So on that point it was pleasing.
I've just watched the first goal and I’ve just watched the last and second goal and its just concentration. It's just simply that, concentration levels and that's what's cost us in the end. Obviously we should have finished our chances, but ultimately, when the chances don’t go in, defensively you've got to keep your mind right.
I know how we're going to play, I know who's going to play, virtually 99 percent sure, there are a couple of little decisions. I know what we need to do and I know how we can go and beat them.
I watched Colchester yesterday; they had a great result up at Carlisle. They're in the same sort of position as us, they need to win games, they're scrapping and fighting.
On the fans...
I think the fans were excellent, I'm not just saying that because it's the right thing to say. You look at it after the game, the lads went over to them before the game and after the game and I hope they have seen something that they can take a little hope from. That's what it's all about, you've got to keep that hope and belief, and that will be a big thing for the lads. Rather than trudging off the pitch thinking that the fans didn't like it. It can affect them, especially at home. So it's credit to them spending their money just after Christmas; it's hard and they expect to be entertained and the least they want to see is some effort and desire to actually have a go.
No matter what happens at the end of the season, the fans are going to play a massive part, that can’t be under estimated. We appreciate the support and the money they spend because it's not easy. Especially when your team isn't doing well, to stick with them is paramount.