I want more - insists U's boss
TWO away draws is a satisfactory start for any new manager, but Aidy Boothroyd wants more.Colchester United's new boss plans to mark his first home game in charge with a victory over struggling Hartlepool this afternoon, to perhaps propel the U's back into the top six.
TWO away draws is a satisfactory start for any new manager, but Aidy Boothroyd wants more.
Colchester United's new boss plans to mark his first home game in charge with a victory over struggling Hartlepool this afternoon, to perhaps propel the U's back into the top six.
And he has made one thing very clear - he doesn't want his side to slip too far off the promotion pace, even during these early stages of the season.
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That's why the ex-Watford boss has recruited two new loan players this week, in the shape of Barnsley striker Kayode Odejayi and young Wolves centre-half Danny Batth.
“My two new loan players are ready to go, and they'll both come into the squad,” confirmed Boothroyd.
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“We have one or two injured and a few others have been out of the picture. And I won't rule out any more players coming in as well, because I want us to be staying in the pack.
“I certainly don't want us to fall to far back. I don't want us to suddenly be 15 points behind the leaders.
“At the moment, Leeds and Charlton are starting to run away with it, but these big clubs will feel the pressure.
“That can happen, like it happened to me (at Watford) in the Championship.
“In fact, that's the unique thing that I bring, because I've been the underdog before, winning promotion, but I've also been at the top (of the Championship) and then had those diving boots on, with everyone catching us! The expectations of the bigger clubs are high, and that can quickly implode on you,” added Boothroyd.
United are currently just one place and one point adrift of the play-off zone, after seven games - former manager Paul Lambert was in charge for the first couple of games, before caretaker Joe Dunne presided over the next three and Boothroyd the last two.
Boothroyd's first two fixtures both ended in away draws, at Southampton (0-0) and at Swindon (1-1) last weekend.
“No one is expecting Colchester to do anything. We're in the background,” continued Boothroyd.
“But we're sitting nicely in seventh spot. The picture will become a little clearer after 12 games, and then a clearer still after 24 and 36 games.
“It's not about being at the top now. If that was the case, then I would have got to the Premier League (twice) during my time at Watford.
“I think there's always only eight or nine games in a season when you play brilliant and everything just clicks into place. The other 30-odd games you have to do what is required to win.
“We have shown that we can go to difficult places and get a good point (away draws at Southampton and Swindon). Other teams may well have lost those games.
“But I really want us to be coming back with all three points, because I don't want to be giving away too much ground,” added Boothroyd.
The U's endured a torrid time at the Community Stadium last season - their first at their new ground - with just seven wins from 24 league and cup games.
But they have already won two from three home league fixtures this term, against Yeovil and Gillingham, and they will be gunning for a hat-trick over Hartlepool.
Boothroyd said: “Hartlepool are better away than they are at home.
“There's probably a bit more pressure on them at home, so they like to be on the road. They need to be respected, because otherwise they will turn teams over.
“Of course I'm conscious that this is my first home game.
“It's amazing that it's only my third game. I've been here nearly three weeks, but it feels like three months!
“That's down to the nature of the job. I'm getting to know people here, and getting immersed in it, because the fans and everyone on the staff needs to be involved in the success of a club.
“I know that we need to improve our home record from last season. That's when most people come to watch us.
“But I won't be making a big issue about it, because that can impact on the players. We haven't talked about it much. Otherwise it could become too prominent in their minds.
“I have made a few adjustments in the tunnel area, but basically we want to be playing in front of big crowds to create a nice atmosphere. For that to happen, we need to be winning,” concluded Boothroyd.