Date:Sunday January 27 2008
Bob Russell, the MP who has supported Colchester United for over fifty years, has made a passionate appeal to fans to prevent the club from suffering a first relegation since 1990.
The U`s saw conference football back then, but Russell, who has been a driving force behind the club`s thirty-year wait for a new ground, does not want to see Colchester open the Community Stadium this summer on the back of a first divisional drop for nineteen seasons.
"It is vital that the U's quickly get their act together to emulate our excellent first season in the Championship," Russell wrote in a column earlier this month that appeared on the myfootballwriter webzine.
"If performances and results from now on are in line with the excellent away win at Charlton and away draw at Bristol City - and not the awful home defeats to Blackpool (league) and Peterborough (FA Cup) - then we should escape the nightmare of relegation and starting our first season at Cuckoo Farm in League One."
That goes almost without saying; two games and no defeats is the score on League games player so far in 2008.
Yet, Russell goes on to ask: "Just what has happened to 'Fortress Layer Road' from last season when many of the so-called big clubs were humbled?
"That has to be the biggest mystery, and biggest disappointment. OK, we lost the Assistant Manager and five key players over the summer, but on paper their replacements were just as good. What I sense is that we have lost that 'extra edge' which was there last season."
Russell has asked the fans to back the team regardless of form in the remaining ten home games at Layer Road so that the quagmire of relegation is avoided.
Success - for as Russell notes, no other club has risen from the bottom of the football pyramid to the league`s second rung as quickly as the U`s in recent times -is all the youngest of fans will ever have know at Colchester.
Let`s keep it that way.
Date:Sunday January 27 2008
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