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Up next: Gillingham (h) – a game we need to win

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Despite not winning for the last three games, the fact we are now two points closer to the final play-off position currently occupied by Coventry shows just how even League One is. Anybody can beat anybody in this division. Witness, bottom club Colchester winning at Bradford on Tuesday and Coventry’s home defeat to 18th-place Chesterfield, which allowed us to further close the gap on a side which has won just one of their last eight games.

The key for our play-off hopes, however, is the phrase “anybody can beat anybody” not “anybody can draw with anybody”. We need to start winning, ideally taking six points from our next two matches – at home to Gillingham on Saturday and then our game in hand at home to Donny on Tuesday. Then we should be knocking on the play-off door.

Though Gillingham are fourth in the table and at first glance look another daunting proposition, closer examination paints a different picture. When we narrowly lost to Gillingham on 20 October, they were top but, like Coventry and Tuesday’s opponents Walsall, are in the middle of a poor run.

It includes losing their last three league games and more importantly for their visit to Glanford Park, last winning away in the league on Boxing Day, a run of three defeats and a draw.

They also recently lost the services of their top scorer, midifielder Bradley Dack, with a a hamstring injury. That comes on the back of recent injuries to defender John Egan and captain Doug Loft – both of whom are expected to be out for a number of weeks.

It has all left Gills manager Justin Edinburgh having to admit: “We’re having a [bad] run, which we knew we’d have at some point in the season. But we’re in the games, we’re not getting overrun and I think we could have quite easily had something out of every game we’ve lost.

“I’ve got no doubt we will come out of this – it’s our first blip. We’ve had a bad run of form, a bad spell of injuries, and it will only make us stronger.”

Of course, he had to say that, but as long as it doesn’t make them stronger before 5pm on Saturday, this should be three points for the taking. Of course, that does depend on Sheffers starting wide and Hopper up front, not a narrow attack with a striker who has scored twice since 29 December 2014.

Nigel annoyed

Nigel Adkins was in particularly forthright mood after Sheffield United’s home defeat to leaders Burton on Tuesday dropped them to 12th. “We weren’t good enough. And that, for me, is disappointing. Well, it’s bloody annoying if you want the God’s honest truth.”

Colchester take layer road

Moving with the times or a confusing level of bureaucracy? Colchester United have appointed former manager Tony Humes as director of football to assist head of football operations Tony Ashby. This is on top of having team manager Kevin Keen and assistant manager David Wright. There are more layers than their old ground.

According to club chairman Robbie Cowling: “To make sure that we are moving with the times and exploiting every opportunity that exists, I have decided to appoint a director of football and a football operations manager who can dedicate all of their time to making improvements to all footballing aspects of the club, whilst also protecting and maintaining the club’s philosophy and values.”

Of course, Colchester do need all the help they can get. Tuesday’s victory at Bradford ended a club-record 133-day run of 19 league games without a win. But it is hard not to wonder who does what? And what is Colchester’s footballing philospophy?

Humes left the U’s in November after 15 months in charge, with Kevin Keen succeeding him in December.
Despite the changes, Colchester are bottom of League One and without a league win since October.

Humes, 49, was head of youth at the club before becoming manager, and helped to develop their academy.

According to club chairman Robbie Cowling: “We have to look for opportunities in every problem and make sure that we are moving with the times,” chairman Robbie Cowling said in a statement.

“To make sure that we are moving with the times and exploiting every opportunity that exists, I have decided to appoint a director of football (Humes) and a football operations manager (Ashby) who can dedicate all of their time to making improvements to all footballing aspects of the club, whilst also protecting and maintaining the club’s philosophy and values.”

Written by Matt Blanchard

Part of the team since 2007, before becoming editor in 2013. Undertaken the role of match summariser during Scunthorpe United live match commentaries for BBC Radio Humberside. Seasonal contributor to football titles FourFourTwo and When Saturday Comes and a finalist at the Football Blogging Awards in 2014.

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