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[Archived] Rovers 3 - 0 Colchester Utd


Paul
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Apologies for the late start on this week's preview which has been beset with technical problems. We only met Matt last week and swapping e-mails hasn't worked very well, then his PM seemed to coincide with last night's mini crash on here.

Saturday presents Rovers with an excellent opportunity of progressing to the 5th round, a home tie against lower league opposition is as much as any PL club can hope for. After the Cardiff and Bolton games this fan isn't feeling quite so confident, I'm hoping Sparky has made his views on our last two performances very clear to the players. Personally I'll settle for any sort of victory - we need to progress and avoid the sort of fixture pile up a replay plus the postponement of the Norwich game would bring. As the earlier thread on this game had some good posts I have cut and pasted these into this one to get things going.

So without more ado from me then it's over to Matt who is the Media Manager for Colchester United:

To get started can we talk about Neil Danns? Most Rovers fans are aware he’s playing very well for Colchester, have Rovers let a potential Premier league player go or is he now in the right league for his talents?

Dannsy has now played around 20 games for the club and has made a big impression in each one of them. When he returned to Rovers after his loan spell was completed, we missed his enthusiasm on the pitch and his return to the team in late December after signing permanently saw that energy return to the side.

At this early stage, it is clear that he has got potential to go far in the game and it is his willingness to run and run that will take him to where he wants to go. At the very least, he is going to be a top half of the Championship player and, depending on how he kicks on personally in the next two or three years, he could well return to the top flight.

What is for certain is that he is a player who is very popular in so much as he always plays with a determination that the fans like to see. He has made all the right noises about giving it his all for Colchester United and the early signs are that he can carry the burden of expectation that his first spell at the club put on his shoulders.

Moving onto the rest of the Colchester team, what are your strengths and weaknesses (we won’t tell Sparky!). Who should Rovers watch out for?

Of late, our strength has to be our back line. In 2005, we have recorded five clean sheets in our last six games and our defensive record of 32 conceded in 28 games is the second best in League One.

We had been struggling to score goals of late, but put that to rest with a 5-0 win over the Saddlers in midweek. There were more goals in the game, and we performed well against a disappointing opposition.

But perhaps our biggest plus is our ability to rise to the big occasion. Last season we made it to the Fifth Round of the FA Cup, beating Coventry after a replay and taking Sheffield United all the way in a 1-0 defeat. Already this season, we have beaten West Brom in the Carling Cup and then in the next round taken Southampton to the wire in a 3-2 defeat in which we led at one point.

That fearlessness has done us well in the bigger cup ties and, if we get off to a good start at Ewood Park, the lads can rise to the occasion.

Lower league clubs look to the FA Cup to provide a financial windfall. The Us have been lucky enough to be drawn against the mighty Rovers. The Rovers have priced tickets at £20 adults (£15 for season ticket holders) and £5 juniors – how do Colchester fans feel about this? Given we only attracted 9,150 for the Cardiff replay, are we depriving you of a pay day or would you prefer to see the ground at least half full?

Prices were similar for the cup ties at Coventry and Sheffield United last season, so there haven’t been too many grumbles from our supporters.

What you have to bear in mind is that Layer Road holds just over 6,000 so anything over that – especially 12,000 upwards – would represent a bigger pay day than playing at home.

The Southampton game saw the other end of the spectrum where the tickets were priced cheaply due to half term and the 20,000 gate there produced a cracking atmosphere.

If Rovers fans come out for this one and the gate is in the region of 15,000, I think both U’s fans and the club would think that it would be a good day for the bank balance.

Roughly speaking how many Colchester fans can we expect to see on Saturday. Does a ticket price of £20 encourage Colchester fans to travel or would you have the same number attending at £28?

Coventry saw us take 2,500 fans, Sheffield United 3,500 and in the Carling Cup on a Wednesday this year, we took a further 2,500 to Southampton. Sales are – by Tuesday – around the 1,000 mark, so I would be surprised if we took anything less than 2,000 supporters to this one.

The £20 is a decent price, because fans can often pay £18 on a matchday at home games in League One and our supporters paid £23 to go to Swindon on New Years Day.

I think the £28 may have seen less travel, so you’ll get a decent following on Saturday.

Rovers have been struggling with attendances of late, opinions on this vary enormously. Obviously we play in different leagues but it would be interesting to know how Colchester approach the issue of increasing attendance. What is the club’s role in the local community and do you feel the club is enjoying the growth in gates and interest reported from the Coca Cola leagues?

Our problem in terms of attracting new crowds is two fold. Firstly, our geographical location is 15 minutes from Ipswich, and 25% of their support comes from homes with a Colchester post-code. In their premiership days and since, they have attracted a lot of the floating fans from the town.

We are also close to London (50 minutes by train) and the population of the town is now largely non-Colcestrians. There are a lot of commuters who go to work in the City and also a lot of London overspill in our population, meaning many will go up to Spurs, Arsenal or West Ham.

Our second problem is our facilities. Layer Road is approaching 100 years of age and the facilities show that. With Colchester being a relatively prosperous town – and increasingly so – people are more inclined to spend their money elsewhere whilst the facilities do not come up to current requirements.

Our attendances have stayed pretty steady as a result and we have averaged about 3,600 for the last two or three seasons.

Our role in the community is a strong one however, and the club’s community sports trust is rated as second only to Charlton in its outreach into the local population. They perform a wide range of sporting and educational activities and whilst they are independent financially to the club, the needs and benefits of the two organizations run closely in tandem.

With that in mind, the two parties are currently working with the town’s council to bring to fruition a 10,000 seater community stadium with facilities on site to carry out activities seven days a week. This has been a long running affair, but recently we were given tacit permission from John Prescott to push on with our plans, meaning we could be in our new ground in just under two years time.

On Monday night we suffered a miserable home defeat against the mighty Bolton. What relevance does this have to the cup game for Colchester?

I think perhaps it can work one of two ways and much of it depends on how the Rovers fans react to the defeat. When we went to Southampton in the Carling Cup, the Saints were struggling in the league and their players were low on confidence. When we took an early lead, their supporters soon got nervy and the cycle of their players getting more nervous and the fans getting more agitated continued.

As said above, I think the fact that we have held our heads up high on previous cup outings against higher division sides will stand us in good stead for this game

Many thanks to Matt for his contribution, enjoy your trip to Blackburn and the games itself. I'm sure Rovers fans will make all our visitors from Essex very welcome.

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Yorkshire Blue

Hughesy

I like their song, maybe we could change it for the Rovers.

Oh my heart is in Blue and White

I'll stick with what I know

It's Blue and White forever, no matter where I go.

Yes, Blue and White forever it's what I always say

The Blue and White of Col U forever and a day

PABBY

I always fondly remember the last time Rovers played Colchester at Ewood Park on Saturday 27th October, 1979.

We beat them 3-0, but the highlight of the game was Rovers tannoy announcer giving the half-time scores. If he saved the Dingle score until the end, you just knew it was going to be a good 'un. Sure enough, the last scoreline given out was QPR 4 Bumley 0. As was usual in those days, a decent roar of approval went up from the crowd. But the best was yet to come .....

During the second half, we were kept informed when the QPR score reached 5, then 6.

The match over, the crowd were making their way to the exits when the tannoy burst into life again ......

"It's 7 ......."!       laugh.gif

A memory that will stay with me forever, and it was my birthday the next day too. Cheers Dingles! 

Capt KAYOS

Aren't Colchester the ones where the Fans used to take celery or something similar onto the ground- or was it Weetabix

Maybe the Col U visitors could confirm?

laugh.gif

Matt CUFC

I've been going to Layer Road in different capacities for about 18 years now and have never seen a stick of celery in the ground.

That said, there was the "celery, celery" chant, which I guess must have some basis somewhere!

(it involves tickling females, I believe!)

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Savage is eligible, Bellamy is not and Ferguson's groin is playing him up again laugh.gif

Has to be a very close to full strength side. Would like to see Nissa and Nelsen start and give Jansen a run alongside Dickov.

Dangerous game for us- Lawrenson has gone for Rovers 2 Colchester 0. I think I'll join him as the dingles have got the "I can't see where the goals are going to come from" soubriquet this week.

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Savage is eligible, Bellamy is not and Ferguson's groin is playing him up again laugh.gif

Has to be a very close to full strength side. Would like to see Nissa and Nelsen start and give Jansen a run alongside Dickov.

Dangerous game for us- Lawrenson has gone for Rovers 2 Colchester 0. I think I'll join him as the dingles have got the "I can't see where the goals are going to come from" soubriquet this week.

No, Lawrenson was right about Bolton so he's got to start being wrong again. A hard fought, nervous 3-2, just like Cardiff, with us nicking it at the end.

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Of late, our strength has to be our back line. In 2005, we have recorded five clean sheets in our last six games and our defensive record of 32 conceded in 28 games is the second best in League One.

Uhoh. We should and must win this but it'll be close. A good cup run could turn a dissapointing season into a half decent one.

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Blackburn v Colchester

Phil Parkinson has done really well at Colchester. But I think this game is ideal for Blackburn to bounce back after losing to Bolton on Monday.

Colchester will be competitive but I think Rovers will have too much class.

(taken from BBC)

Mark Lawrenson is expecting us to win. This is a turn up for the books!

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If fit I think Ferguson has to play, albeit stripped of the captaincy. As he is staying the sooner the crowd and himself settle down for the rest of the season the better.

                      

                       Friedel

     Niell    Mokoena   Todd     Johansson

Emerton   Ferguson  Savage   Pedersen

                  Dickov     Gallagher 

Subs:  Nelsen, Enckleman, Thompson, Reid, Stead

3-0 Rovers

Edited by joey_big_nose
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I think tomorrow will be fascinating. I can't wait to see what will happen to Ferguson? Will he play? Will he get booed? Will he have a cracking game? (quite possible if he plays)

I would love to bump into him and see what he has to say.

It's nice not to have to worry about other results for a change on a Saturday.

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