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Super U's to clip Magpie's wings on opening day at Meadow Lane 18:37 - Jul 31 with 733 viewsdurham_exile

The fixture computer has once again been unkind towards Colchester United, as we once again start and finish with Away matches and this season we begin at Meadow Lane against Notts County on August 4th, 2018 and finish at Sincil Bank against Lincoln City on May 4th, 2019.

This will be our third season back in the basement League and we will never have a better chance of securing promotion back to League One, because there is a paucity of talented teams in the league this year.

Exeter, Lincoln, Notts County and surprise newcomers Tranmere will provide stern opposition for the Super U’s, but frankly there is not much else in the way of real threats to suggest that we cannot achieve promotion.

MFB has identified key odds for promotion for the U's as champions at a far from generous 20/1 whilst they are a meagre 9/2 to achieve any form of promotion and 15/8 to finish top 7.

So where are those 91 points coming from to win the league. In short, vastly improved home form is required to ratchet up 17 victories and at least 10 away wins are required.

Even that only provides 81 points leaving a further 10 draws and then no more than 9 defeats. A tall order perhaps for a team with mediocre form (over the last ten years) but by no means impossible. It is certainly possible though.

I think that this season we have made some impressive signings, whether permanent or on loan and although there have been anticipated departures, they have not hurt the club unduly.

Ethan Ross and Bailey Vose have arrived to strengthen the Goalkeeping division, but it should be noted that Rene Gilmartin will play some part in the matches this season.

Aaron Barnes, who was on loan at Torquay last season, plays left sided at the back or in the midfield. And if Kane Vincent-Young can be persuaded to stay he will provide very good cover at full back or midfield. These notes were penned on Tuesday afternoon and there was, at the time of going to press, no confirmation of the talented defender’s signature on a new contract. Let us hope that he does indeed line up with the team on Saturday.

Our midfield looks especially strong with Harry Pell, a target for two seasons, now finally captured from Cheltenham. Courtney Senior is emerging as a talented winger now that his injury problems are hopefully at an end. This must be the season for Sammie Szmodics to finally show what he can do if he too remains injury free.

The return of Brennan Dickenson is like a new signing and he will provide the testing crosses for defences, whilst offering a goal threat. Ryan Gondoh looks also to have the ability to drive forward from the centre of the park.

It is the forward line though where we have much promise on show. Mika Mandron stayed with the club, which I am delighted about because he will only get better as a striker. Ably supported by Wolves loanee Aaron Collins and new signings Luke Norris from Swindon and Frank Nouble from Newport. Such is the forward strength at JM’s disposal that Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe has been loaned out at Bromley until January.

We still remain a youthful side which is important in this league, but there is experience too to bolster the team. None more so than Luke Prosser and Tom Eastman who were so effective last season.

This weekend sees the difficult trip to Meadow Lane for a stern examination at the hands of Kevin Nolan’s Notts County, who will once again be favourites for promotion. They are one of our bogey teams and if we are to achieve promotion, then three points at Nottingham on Saturday will send out all the right signals of intent to the other promotion candidates.

Notts County have also spent big and brought in some new players, Kane Hemmings, Kristian Dennis and Enzio Boldewijn will all offer goals threats with home grown Lewis Alessandra to support them. Whilst evergreen Jon Stead at only 35 has mustered 146 goals in 599 appearances in his career.

They have lost captain Michael O’Connor who is a big loss to them, but experienced David Vaughan has made the short journey from Nottingham Forest to attempt to replace him. Former U’s favourite Elliott Hewitt is still in their line-up.

We were very unlucky to lose there last season and they celebrated at the final whistle as though they had already been promoted, strangely enough just as Lincoln City did when we narrowly lost at Sincil Bank. Time for some revenge then on Saturday.

Now although I hold little sway in pre-season games results, we have nevertheless enjoyed an excellent set of results, notably against Millwall and Gillingham, both of which resulted in deserved victories.

JM has been playing two upfront with a winger to provide pace. Can he please note that a similar bold and inventive formation is required at Meadow Lane? Attack from the start and take the game to them in what is likely to be a hot East Midlands day in front of a decent crowd and we stand a real chance of securing victory.

Formation looks to be 4,3,3 rather than 3,5,2 and I have been undecided on which starting XI might be employed.

After some thought I am going with:

Barnes

Eastman Prosser Kent Vincent-Young

Lapslie Pell Dickenson

Collins Mandron Szmodics

Subs:

Gilmartin Jackson Senior Gondoh Comley Nouble Norris

Such a team offers a blend of experience with the enthusiasm of youth, plus pace, power and height plus genuine wing play.

I believe that this current squad can provide the quality of performances plus the required results to obtain promotion this season.

Safe journey to the travelling faithful.

Prediction: 3-1 to Colchester.

Up the Super U’s



Durham_exile

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Super U's to clip Magpie's wings on opening day at Meadow Lane on 22:33 - Jul 31 with 693 viewswessex_exile

Brilliant and stirring stuff as usual Durham. I'm not as well-versed in formations as you and others are, but I have a feeling Norris and/or Nouble may make a start, but I'll be there at Meadow Lane nevertheless. Our recent record there is not good, but I remember more than a few occasions (the bounce-back after Bedlington Terriers for instance) when we did okay - nothing to fear!

Up the U's!

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Super U's to clip Magpie's wings on opening day at Meadow Lane on 00:16 - Aug 1 with 679 viewsghughes11

Great preview as always Durham!

Reading from afar (New Zealand), I do like an in-depth preview like yours and review too.

I'm not sure Dickenson will play centre-mid. Either left wing back in a 3-5-2 or wide left in a 4-5-1/4-3-3.

I would go:

Barnes

Eastman Prosser Kent

Vincent-Young Lapslie Pell Comley Dickenson

Mandron Collins

Liking the options off the bench: Szmodics, Nouble, Norris and Gondoh .

At home vs Vale, I'd swap Comley for Szmodics

Up the U's! Surely this is our year
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Super U's to clip Magpie's wings on opening day at Meadow Lane on 13:42 - Aug 1 with 626 viewsPinault_Noir

Marvellous stuff Durham, a great start to the season for me over here. It actually feels like I have just left the pub and am en route to Meadow Lane where I have never seen better than a 1-1.
It will be interesting to see if the management do better with a [primarily] known squad as opposed to disinterested loanees that I always feel to be poor decision-making. Mis use of Mr Cowling's money.

Thank you again I am even more avidly looking forward to Saturday now. Once I have finished this picture I shall open a bottle in your honour. Safe journey and turn up a win if you can!
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Super U's to clip Magpie's wings on opening day at Meadow Lane on 07:08 - Aug 2 with 576 viewsnoah4x4

Eastman Prosser, Kent did a defensive job, but were a bit like cart-horses in the pre-season that I saw, notably at Dagenham where our defence lacked pace, hoofed everything aimlessly or passed to Lapslie who repeatedly passed it sideways/back.

I don't particularly rate Jackson, but in a four at the back we do need two of the aforesaid trio at Centre Back but with two pacy Full Backs and more creativity than Lapslie ahead. If a three at the back, then this trio might gel, as the five ahead then offers more outlets than hoof and offers more defensive cover in midfield, with the Wing-Backs then handling the wide runners. Prosser didn't look the player he was, but maybe he was simply short of match fitness (I didn't see Millwall or Gillingham due to cricket commitments).
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Super U's to clip Magpie's wings on opening day at Meadow Lane on 15:14 - Aug 2 with 527 viewsdurham_exile

Guys many thanks for the comments. I do feel very positive for the season.

I note that JM has announced he has a fully fit squad for Saturday which is a real luxury and something not experienced for some seasons now.

I think it unlikely that he will make many changes from the recent starting formations against Millwall and Gillingham.

A big three points on Saturday and we are off to a flyer.

Up the U's

Durham_exile

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Super U's to clip Magpie's wings on opening day at Meadow Lane on 18:42 - Aug 3 with 441 viewswessex_exile

There's a some cautious predictions on their forum, and a few who fancy the U's to prevail.

http://boards.footymad.net/showthread.php?t=38225311

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Super U's to clip Magpie's wings on opening day at Meadow Lane on 19:23 - Aug 3 with 421 viewsdurham_exile

JM does in fact have a full squad to choose from including Kane Vincent-Young which is great news!

I am sticking with my predicted team for tomorrow. From all accounts we should have 300 of the faithful present to cheer the Super U's onto victory.

Barnes

Eastman Prosser Kent Vincent-Young

Lapslie Pell Dickenson

Collins Mandron Szmodics

Subs:

Gilmartin Jackson Senior Gondoh Comley Nouble Norris

Full squad named by JM:
D. Barnes, Ross, Gilmartin, Jackson, Vincent-Young, A. Barnes, Eastman, Kent, Prosser, Kensdale, Clampin, Dickenson, Lapslie, Comley, Wright, Pell, Senior, Gondoh, Szmodics, Nouble, Mandron, Collins, Norris

It is going to be a balmy 24 degrees c in Nottingham.

Get your popcorn ready cos its gonna be a show!


Up the Super U's


Durham_exile

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Super U's to clip Magpie's wings on opening day at Meadow Lane on 17:04 - Aug 4 with 299 viewspwrightsknees

Looking forward to reading you travelling supporters' comments. Stats suggest that the U's gave a good account of themselves against one of the favourites for automatic promotion. A bit surprised at using only one sub, though.
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Super U's to clip Magpie's wings on opening day at Meadow Lane on 17:21 - Aug 4 with 291 viewsmfb_cufc

A good result after losing our previous eight games at Meadow Lane. The 369 U's fans who made the journey will be pleased with that result to start the season.

mfb

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Super U's to clip Magpie's wings on opening day at Meadow Lane on 22:05 - Aug 4 with 237 viewsgerry_us

An interim report before the excellent Durham missive
Encouraging display by the U's.
Strangely the County penalty area was heavily watered at halftime and I said to the guy next to me that it was to make it difficult for our attackers to keep there feet....and then Collins lost his footing when certain to score. Eastman also hit the bar with a stunning strike so we could count ourselves a bit unlucky not to come away without all the points. After an "iffy" start by Barnes, fumbling away an early shot and then flapping at a cross he happily grew in confidence with some good handling and a brave interception on the edge of his box, somewhere Walker never ventured. I expect him to grow into a reliable no.1 keeper.
Good to see Durham and Wessex for the new season.
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Super U's to clip Magpie's wings on opening day at Meadow Lane on 23:19 - Aug 4 with 217 viewswessex_exile

Super U's to clip Magpie's wings on opening day at Meadow Lane on 22:05 - Aug 4 by gerry_us

An interim report before the excellent Durham missive
Encouraging display by the U's.
Strangely the County penalty area was heavily watered at halftime and I said to the guy next to me that it was to make it difficult for our attackers to keep there feet....and then Collins lost his footing when certain to score. Eastman also hit the bar with a stunning strike so we could count ourselves a bit unlucky not to come away without all the points. After an "iffy" start by Barnes, fumbling away an early shot and then flapping at a cross he happily grew in confidence with some good handling and a brave interception on the edge of his box, somewhere Walker never ventured. I expect him to grow into a reliable no.1 keeper.
Good to see Durham and Wessex for the new season.


Good to see you both too! A solid performance all round, and on the balance of play we really should have won. Still, if Notts Co prove the pundits right as contenders for automatic promotion (they didn’t look it today), we’ll look back on this as a very good point.

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Super U's to clip Magpie's wings on opening day at Meadow Lane on 11:57 - Aug 5 with 152 viewswessex_exile

Lifted from a lengthy thread on the Notts Co unofficial forum, mostly bemoaning their performance yesterday.

“I agree that things will get better. However, I was watching our movement yesterday and both wingers and forwards were making runs that were simply ignored/not spotted.
I think Colchester look capable of challenging the top 7 spots so actually when we start to look back this a point gained rather than 2 dropped. They looked a big, imposing side that could easily have lumped it forward but actually mixed it up well.”

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