Don’t call it a six-pointer! Ok, you can… Preston’s visit to the Drome this evening comes billed as a basement battle. Colchester will feel they have a chance given that they have a renewed vigor sincve the arrival of Chris Coyne and Phil Ifil.
Preston, who have enjoyed wins Watford, West Brom and Coventry in recent weeks, have still only one three in six of thier last home matches.
Liam Chilvers, the former Colchester defender, says he is not going to feel any sentiment tonight: “I’m a Preston player and I’m worried about our results not theirs,” said the man who made his name during the Phil Parkinson era.
“If we beat them and they end up getting relegated by three points at the end of the season, I won’t lose any sleep over it.
“That might sound hard. But Preston is my team and I won’t be too worried about sending them down if I have to.”
U’s winger Kevin McLeod has said this week the the club need results: “We don’t class it as a relegation battle, we just see ourselves as unfortunate to be in this position, we’re not playing bad.
“We’ve gone to some of the big stadiums and taken points away from the big teams, we’re not exactly a ‘relegated’ kind of team, we don’t look like a side that’s going to go down so we just need to keep on doing what we’re doing, coming away to big clubs like this and taking points off them.”
Colchester Team News:
Colchester are without eight faces due to injuries; Mark Yeates, who scored when the sides met at Deepdale last time out, is just one of those not avaliable for selection.
New singing Dean Hammond is still out with a calf problem, but Kevin Lisbie is pushing for a start so soon after he limped out of the game on Saturday with Burnley. The rest of the side, bar Lisbie who is a doubt, will remain unchanged.
Player to watch: Karl Duguid
The skipper is enjoying being back on the right wing where he can carry the Colchester fight; a torrid season at right back so far looks to be over after the signing of Phil Ifil.
Duguid famously scored a last-gasp winner at Preston to help the U’s ensure divisonal saftey eight years ago; he says he wants to repeat that tonight.
Preston Team News:
Prestondefender Callum Davidson (thigh) and midfielder Lewis Neal (hamstring) could be back after missing the weekend’s round of games.
Player to watch: Simon Whaley
Has been a livewire for the Lillywhites for two years and is the club’s joint top-scorer on five goals. Has a bright future, probably with a Premier League side.
Match Facts & Stats
The U’s have not produced a home win in nine matches.
Both sides need a win, now or never. So probably a draw then!
Colchester face Hull City away on Saturday.