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Colchester v Owls preview

Colchester United

Weston Homes Community Stadium, Colchester

Saturday, April 14


Four games, four must-wins. That's the deal if Wednesday are to stand a chance of leapfrogging neighbours Sheffield United to achieve automatic promotion from League One this season.

It starts on Saturday with a not-so-easy visit to Colchester United. The Owls' penultimate away match of the season.

United host Leyton Orient at Bramall Lane and although the pressure has been at the Blades' feet to retain their top-two spot, it'll very much be back on Dave Jones and his side to continue hot-on-the-heels after this weekend's games.

The U's have little but pride to play for now and they haven't won since the start of March - but that win came against leaders Charlton Athletic, proving they can mix it with the big boys.

Vital Quotes:

Owls defender Miguel Llera told the official SWFC website:

'We know that every game from here on in is a cup final and we need to win each one in order to keep the pressure on Sheffield United.

'We need the support from the fans, now more than ever, to give us the best possible chance of promotion.'

U's boss John Ward told the official Colchester website:

'This is the best game we could have had after Monday's performance.

'I say 'bring it on', this is a great fixture for us and I want to get going and take it on.

'We have been very organised against teams up at the top of the table and we have picked up good results by nullifying their key men.

'I want us to be disciplined and organised, and we've got the capabilities to stop a good opponent and find ways to beat them.

'Sheffield Wednesday will be ruthless, they've got a massive contest with Sheffield United, which is a massive contest in its own right around the city.'

Colchester United Team News:

The U's will be desperate to bounce back from their 4-1 thrashing at lowly Bury on Monday and will see a home clash against the high-flying Owls as the perfect opportunity to do just that.

They've been the league's draw specialists of late, drawing seven of their last nine games (and losing the other two), something which won't do for Wednesday in their push for a top-two spot.

Their recent run of results has seen their play-off chances come to an end, but Colchester will still be a tough nut to crack for Wednesday.

Martin Rowlands will definitely miss the match with a hamstring injury, and boss John Ward could make a number of changes to the side that lost at Bury as he looks for his men to finish the season strongly.

Player to watch: Freddie Sears

Sears may have only scored just one league goal since joining Colchester on-loan from West Ham United, but he'll still be keen to impress - especially against one of the division's big clubs.

Wednesday Team News:

Owls boss Dave Jones could opt for 'same again' after Wednesday saw off Oldham Athletic 3-0 last time out.

Reda Johnson will definitely be out with a thigh injury, and unconfirmed reports suggest the defender could be out for the rest of the season. Johnson suffered the injury in the victory at Huddersfield Town and Julian Bennett is set to continue in his place.

Lewis Buxton will be given a late fitness test but Wednesday are hoping he'll be ready for the trip south. If not, Mark Beevers, who came on to replace Buxton against Oldham, is likely to the nod to play in defence.

Skipper Rob Jones is fit and available for a return to action but Jones may well stick with the successful centre-back pairing of Danny Batth and Miguel Llera.

Ryan Lowe will also be pushing for a return after scoring with one of his first touches as a substitute against the Latics.

Player to watch: Miguel Llera

Llera should continue at centre-back on current form. He's linked superbly with Danny Batth in defence. Not only that, but he's chipped in with some crucial goals - and assists - in the last two games.

Match Facts & Stats


Colchester: L-D-D-L-D

Wednesday: W-W-W-W-D


Colchester wins: 8

Wednesday wins: 6

Draws: 5

Last Time Out:

Wednesday 2-0 Colchester

Hillsborough, 22/10/11

The Owls eased to victory at Hillsborough earlier in the season. Second-half strikes from Rob Jones and Reda Johnson proved enough to give the hosts three points.

Next Fixtures:

v Carlisle United (H) - 21/4/12

v Brentford (A) - 28/4/12

v Wycombe Wanderers (H) - 5/5/12

Date:Friday April 13 2012
Time: 1:00PM


Got to keep winning and hope utd slip up somewhere otherwise it's the play-offs, not sure my finger nails could cope with that!! A day out at wembley and a win would be fantastic though!!
13/04/2012 16:17:00
I'm sure we all wish Tricky a speedy recovery and it's another wake up call for me.... just the one kebab a day for me now... And what's up Jason and Kylie?? Lost your voices?? That Poll proves just how flat out wrong you've both been all season. Megson assembled a good squad but never had the talent to consistantly bring the best out of em. We'd be a good 5 or 10 points clear of the Blunts now had Mandy acted sooner but if it comes to a play off we've nowt to fear against our rivals. Wonder what that daft twa t who ripped up his season ticket is feeling now! You should reimburse him Our_Maurice, he probably read yer posts and felt inspired. Pass. pass, pass, win, win, win WTID
13/04/2012 22:08:00
Listen, mate. There are some things you and I will never agree on, and how many kebabs you can scram as part of a healthy diet is just one of 'em!
14/04/2012 08:24:00
If we had acted 5 or 6 games sooner would we have had Antonio who hass made such a big difference. IMO MM's mistake was not acting sooner with AI who was hpoeless - yet people still somehow disagreed with that sacking!! Ultimately its all about opinion and mine is that Meggo knows a player when he sees one - which is suprisingly rare in managers ( particularly ours). Had Meggo been brought in before the January deadline last year we may be 10 points clear. Jones has simply augmented what Meggo did. Nothing against Jones but hes has had the much simpler job.
Radon Barrier
14/04/2012 08:50:00
Dont feel too confidant today would'nt be happy if we lost. A draw would be a good point but is a point enough at this stage of the season. ? Cant see utd slipping up at home but we live in hope.What has happened to COG has he fell off the face of the planet? UTO.
vic mobley
14/04/2012 10:26:00
Agree Vic, O'Grady offers more than Ranger who's still yet to convince.
14/04/2012 10:46:00
Fingers crossed we get all 3 pts, got a feeling the pigs will draw today and draw at mk. It's there's to lose and lose it they will!!! Come on the boys! Now where's that place to hide!!
14/04/2012 10:53:00
i agree that jones had a simpler job in that he didn't have to rebuild the team. however under megson we had gone of the boil and we would not be in with a chance of 2nd if he was still in charge. he could see a good player but his style of play did not allow the players to play to their potential, jones has given them the opportunity to perform
Hirsty's Shinpads
14/04/2012 14:40:00
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