John Ward allowed the Colchester United playing staff a day with their families ahead of Tuesday`s trip to Premiership Sunderland.
The U`s boss is expecting a stiff test from the top-flight team, whose last game against Colchester at Layer Road in 2007 was a stand-out Championship victory for the U`s as it delayed the march of then- manager Roy Keane towards an inevitable title.
“We`re back on another coach and up to North again, so hopefully we can give a good account of ourselves there. It`ll be a great game for us to take part in and I`m sure all the players will look forward to that,” said Ward after the weekend`s away win against Rochdale, Colchester`s first in the league this term. He was talking to BBC Radio Essex.
Steve Brue also said he will field a strong XI when United come calling, especially since he is looking for a prolonged run in the League Cup competition.
The Essex side`s best showing in the competition, according to a BBC stat, came in 1975 as round five was reached.
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