Date:Friday December 29 2006
Possession is nine-tenths of the law in life and football. Geraint Williams re-introduced that idea to Colchester on Boxing Day, after they had recorded their 10th straight win at home against Luton Town.
The 4-1 victory was apparently only a rout in statistical terms, as the Welsh manager proceeded to reprimand the squad for their poor ball retention. As salvo-grabbing Chris Iwelumo told the media: "We won playing badly. And the manager gave us a bit of a rollicking. We will have to address that before the next game against Wolves."
Colchester survived a first half onslaught from the hatters, to score two goals themselves, and on another night Rowan Vine might have had a hatful, instead of just the one goal. Williams was said to be "disappointed" with his side`s at times sloppy play, which saw Dean Gerekn forced into five great first-half saves, although the boss gave them "full credit" for continuing the home run without defeat.
Nobody is quite sure where Williams got his coaching talent from, although it appears that serving a long while at Colchester has made him au fait with the inner-workings, and very fabric, of the club. He knows too, that gaining promotion to the top-flight would be a miracle of Wigan or Reading proportions. Expect, unlike them, Colchester do not have a millionaire owner, and only 18 full-time professionals.
Luckily, it appears that Williams is no dreamer. Less brave managers than he would have backed away from telling the team where they had gone wrong after this win, which leaps so emphatically off the page.
He must know that the league table separates the places between Colchester and Luton by 11 points, which, at this stage of the season, is quite a small gap. It is only four wins. Coincidentally, it is also the amount Colchester need to surpass the points total that will guarantee them survival during their first year in the Championship.
This Williams reality-check, however, is the sign of a good coach, rather than a cause for doom and gloom. All the better that he complained during a win, since it leaves no time to become lackadaisical, or allow the squad time to become complacent.
There is plenty to smile about this season, and in the words of one journalist: "Colchester have no foreigners, no prima donnas, no cheats and no overpaid 'staff.`" That does not mean no frills, as their attacking play has culminated in the scoring of 32 goals at home, (an average of three a game) and the best record in the division.
Williams is not asking the fans to stop dreaming with his comments, simply cutting through the hype. He is also reminding the players to keep their heads, and the ball, amid all this talk of a rise to the Premiership.
Date:Friday December 29 2006
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