You can forgive a fan for early-season fantasies, especially when Colchester United go into a potentially tough clash against Sheffield Wednesday in three days, undefeated and with five goals to their name from the first two competitive games of season 2010-11.
John Ward has so far drilled the side well and turned a passing and flexible 4-5-1 formation (4-3-3 when attacking) into the club`s very flexible friend – goals and freedom of expression on the ball aplenty.
Although the Wednesday game will act as a fair acid test, the manager`s invitation for the majority of the weekend`s side to hold down a place for the possible banana-skin cup tie against Hereford on Tuesday worked perfectly.
“The three goals were all high quality and I’m sure our supporters will have liked them,” gushed Ward at fall-time. Ian Henderson`s superb cut-inside finish for the final effort was labelled as a training ground finish that actually came off by the local BBC Radio Essex commentators.
Cue the analogy evoking Arsenal:” I`m sure it`ll come out so I might as well tell you; I`m sitting there before the first goal, complaining that we just want to score the perfect goal. The next touch is David Mooney`s in the back of the net and the boys have burst out laughing, because well, there it is.”
Colchester are playing their best football since this time a year ago, when Paul Lambert sensationally left for rivals Norwich and Ward`s welcome experimentation – perhaps out of necessity through lack of strikers but still – with their team is showing good signs. The set-up evokes a similar one deployed by Phil Parkinson, now with Charlton.
He used a three-man attack for some of the highly-successful 2005-6 season, putting Chris Iwelumo (now Burnley) as the target figure, adding support from wingers Mark Yeates (Sheffield United) and the prodigious Greg Halford (Wolves).
The next incantation sees a welcome diversion from long-ball passing, deploying in the triangle Kayode Odejayi, Anthony Wordsworth and Ian Henderson.
It`s working so far: too soon to predict an attendant promotion, though? Probably.
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