LEEDS UNITED: 1971 and all that. But Colchester`s focus today should be more about League One and trying to stop the club they beat in an historic FA Cup win all those years ago from winning promotion.
Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Everybody knows that Leeds had the best crop of youngsters since Giggs and Beckham graduated from the Old Trafford academy when they over-stretched the march and started hiring goldfish for highly expensive sums while creating a financial backhole.
But have both Leeds and Colchester moved on since those days? The U`s, although waxing lyrically about that win in the cup, are no longer an old Division Four side. Leeds, equally, have shed several different managers and had to live with Ken Bates in the directors` box.
On a day when plenty of previous occurrences could dominate the headlines, sometimes it`s hard to visualise the present. For Colchester United, although boss Paul Lambert is refusing to admit that the play-offs are an impossibility that might mean conceding that this is already over in terms of squeezing into the top six.
On a historical point, today`s game will see Colchester mach some: their new 10,000 will sell its entire ticket allocation for the first time.
U`s Chief Executive Steve Bradshaw, defends the decision to increase Leeds` ticket allocation to 3,200, causing the game to become a sell-out yesterday in the local press: ‘”The club is trying to get the best out of the situation. And it gave us the chance to get the stadium sold out for the first time this season. Everything worked very well for the Southend game recently and we hope it will be the same scenario tomorrow.’
Simon Grayson, Leeds boss, on why it`s important to have a fully fit side ahead of the season`s run-in: ‘We’ve got almost a full complement of players available and that’s great for me. It’s a vital time to have everyone fit and available with the group of games we’ve got coming up in a short space of time. It lets me change things, freshen up the team or just move things around if I feel I need to do that’
Colchester United Team News:
Chris Coyne returns from international duty having been an unused substitute for Australia in midweek, although Colchester will be without injured pair Johnnie Jackson and Steve Gillespie. The only other absentee is Paul Reid, who is out for the season with a knee problem.
Player to watch: Dean Hammond
The midfield dynamo has been in impressive form since Paul Lambert made him on-field captain in the autumn. He has already scored against Leeds this season.
Worth watching for effort and tenacity, more than simply goals.
Also hits a mean free-kick, if Mark Yeates decides not to strike them.
Leeds United Team News:
Fabian Delph returns to fitness while Frazer Richardson, Andy Hughes and Andy Robinson could all start today. Darryl Flahavan, the former Southend goalie, will miss out having just arrived on-loan with the club.
Player to watch: Jermaine Beckford
Controversial striker Jermaine Beckford has had his share of troubles this season, but will give Colchester`s defenders a hard time as he looks to increase his season`s tally of 21 goals.
Match Facts & Stats
Leeds 1-2 Colchester
Colchester: Colchester: Walker, Maybury, Coyne, Reid, Tierney, Yeates (White 86), Hammond, Izzet (Jackson 75), Perkins, Easter (Vernon 26), Platt.
Leeds: Leeds: Lucas, Hughes (Showunmi 79), Marques, Telfer, Sheehan, Prutton, Kilkenny (Christie 60), Delph, Douglas, Becchio, Snodgrass. Subs Not Used: Ankergren, Michalik, Howson.
To read Vital Colchester’s match report, click here..
Who? Layton Orient
Where? Brisbane Road
When? Saturday 11th, April
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