Aidy seeks cure for travel sickness

COLCHESTER United boss Aidy Boothroyd admits his side's away form has not been good enough.

Stuart Watson

By Stuart Watson

COLCHESTER United boss Aidy Boothroyd admits his side's away form has not been good enough.

The U's face Brighton & Hove Albion at the Withdean Stadium tonight and they will be looking to get back to winning ways on their travels following their recent defeat at Brentford.

Since Boothroyd took over at the Weston Homes Community Stadium, his away record in the league reads played eight, won one, drawn five and lost two.

And the ambitious 38-year-old says he expects better. He said: “It's not good enough, not for the standard the group expects.

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“We are only 10th in the league on away form and we need to be better than that if we want to achieve our goals this season.

“Winning at home and drawing away is usually good enough - but we want to be better than that.

“In an ideal world we would have the best home record in the league and the best away record, but we know it's not as easy as that.”

Fourth-from-bottom Brighton have won three away games this season - one more than Colchester - but they have the worst home record in League One.

The Seagulls - who replaced sacked manager Russell Slade with the duo of Gus Poyet and Mauricio Taricco in November - have lost seven of their 10 league games on home turf.

The Sussex side come into tonight's game full of confidence following their late winner at Exeter last weekend though and Boothroyd is wary of their threat.

He said. “I think they will expect to beat us. They will look at our away record and think that maybe they have got a chance.

“They probably expected to lose against Leeds recently, but Leeds have earned that fear factor. We are still not where I'd like us to be and we are still creating that fear factor.”

KEMI Izzet hopes he has put the worst of his illness nightmare behind him following two months of being laid low.

The 29-year-old midfielder has been in and out of the side over the last eight weeks during a constant battle with a series of nasty viruses.

Having missed over three weeks of training in the last two months, Izzet is now back amongst the first team squad and pushing for a return to the starting XI.

“I went to see a specialist on Tuesday and, although I've still got a silly little cough, other than that I'm fine,” said the U's longest serving player.

“I was diagnosed with swine flu, but I'm not sure if it was that. Then I got a viral infection in my joints, it was diagnosed as viral arthritis.

“I was waking up every morning feeling like a 70-year-old man and that was very painful. I wouldn't wish it on anyone.

“I had an injection two and half weeks ago though and that seems to have done the job.

“It was strange, it just seemed to happen overnight. I remember playing at Wycombe (October 17), then on Sunday it was my little boy's birthday party and I was fine, then I woke up the next morning and couldn't move.

“I couldn't move for five days. I was literally on my settee sweating but freezing cold at the same time.

“Sitting in doors for three weeks is not a good thing. I've just wanted to be on the training pitch and around the lads having a laugh.

“It's been horrendous and it's something I never want to experience again.”

COLCHESTER United fans can expect a few more Friday night games this season.

U's chairman and owner Robbie Cowling is planning to switch a number of home games to Friday evenings to encourage more fans to come through the turnstiles.

“The chairman is in the process of organising a few more Friday night games,” confirmed Colchester boss Aidy Boothroyd ahead of tonight's trip to Brighton.

Probable Line-Ups

Brighton & Hove Albion (4-4-2)

29 Peter Brezovan

27 Gavin Hoyte

6 Adam El-Abd

4 Tommy Elphick

12 James Tunnicliffe

20 Andrew Crofts

8 Alan Navarro

18 Gary Dicker

26 Elliott Bennett

10 Liam Dickinson

9 Nicky Forster

Colchester United (4-4-2)

1 Ben Williams

25 John White

23 Marc Tierney

4 Magnus Okuonghae

6 Paul Reid

31 Phil Ifil

22 Anthony Wordsworth

14 David Fox

8 John-Joe O'Toole

9 Clive Platt

20 Kevin Lisbie

Last Meeting

April 13, 2009

League One

Colchester 0 Brighton 1

Brighton received a big bosst to their ultimatley successful survival bid with victory in Essex. The Seagulls clawed themselves to within three points of safety courtesy of Lloyd Owusu's second half header.

Defeat meant the U's - who had won the reverse fixture 2-1 thanks to Scott Vernon's late goal - saw their play-off ambitions take a severe blow.

Stuart's Prediction

Brighton 0 Colchester 2

If the U's can reach the performance levels attained in last Saturday's win over Bristol Rovers they should have no problems here. Brighton are still in a transitional stage, have a poor home record and I expect the Essex side to take advantage.