U's set for big scrap

STOCKPORT County may be fighting for their League One lives, but Colchester United boss Aidy Boothroyd says his high-flying side will be scraping just as hard for the points today.

Stuart Watson

STOCKPORT County may be fighting for their League One lives, but Colchester United boss Aidy Boothroyd says his high-flying side will be scraping just as hard for the points today.

The Hatters are rooted firmly to the foot of the table, are 13 points adrift of safety and have now gone 16 league games without a win.

In contrast, the U's are just six points off of the automatic promotion spots following back-to-back victories over Carlisle and Southend.

“It's going to be difficult to play a team that are in real dire straights,” admitted Boothroyd.

“The pressure is off them, while we expect big things of ourselves.”

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Stockport can take heart from the fact that Colchester have already dropped points against three relegation-threatened sides on their travels this season in the form of Tranmere, Wycombe and Oldham.

However, Boothroyd has warned counterpart Gary Ablett that his side are ready to battle for every point they can get during the second half of their promotion push.

“Everybody needs to look over their shoulders, we need to look over ours, because if we don't do what we need to do we could get caught...but we are chasing as well.

“If Leeds, Norwich and Charlton replicate their first half of the season then they will all be on over 100 points.

“That just doesn't happen.

“It's not over until it's over and we are going to fight and scrap for everything we can get.”

Boothroyd revealed earlier in the season that he approaches the fixtures in six game cycles, assigning points targets to each one.

A new cycle starts with today's game followed by a trip to Yeovil on Tuesday and then matches against Oldham (h), Brentford (h), Bristol Rovers (a) and Brighton (h).

“We've got two very difficult away games now,” said Boothroyd.

“Without a shadow of a doubt the next six games are our most important.

“We've got to be fully focused as if they were all cup finals.

“We've played all of the top six now while they have got to play each other more than we have.

“We're in good shape.”

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