JOE SKARZ is desperate to challenge Colchester United tomorrow, explaining: “We all want to get back to playing the way we know we can – and winning matches.”
While the home side go into the Essex encounter buoyant after a 3-0 victory over high-flying Charlton Athletic, Town aim to bounce back after their 2-1 setback at Walsall.
While Lee Clark’s side haven’t won in four, they remain sixth in League I, and know a three-point haul would put them level on points with Colchester, who go into the clash in fourth place.
It’s a big incentive for the visitors, and defender Skarz added: “We’re going through a bit of a sticky patch, but we have to be resilient.
“We have to ensure we do the basic things properly and work from there, and we know we have quality in this squad.
“We also know that if we keep trying to do the right things, we will come out of this phase the right way, and there’s no reason we can’t start the process tomorrow.
“We’re a young, evolving team, and there are going to be ups and downs. While we’re all disappointed at our recent results, we can’t – and won’t – get too down about things.”
It’s a second away match in a row for Clark’s men, and their second in succession against a side managed by a former Town player.
After Chris Hutchings got the better of them on Tuesday, when another ex-Town man, midfielder Dwayne Mattis, grabbed the late winner, Skarz and Co aim to deny Aidy Boothroyd the same pleasure.
A left-back like Skarz, Bradford-born Boothroyd, now 38, came through the Town academy under the guidance of Gerry Murphy and made 10 first-team appearances before moving to Bristol Rovers in June 1990.
He later played for Hearts, Mansfield Town and Peterborough United before moving into coaching when injury ended his career at 26.
Like Town boss Clark, he had a spell on the coaching staff at Norwich City (after cutting his teeth at Peterborough) and also worked at West Bromwich Albion and Leeds United before taking his first managerial post at Watford in March 2005.
The man who guided the Hornets into the Premier League became Colchester boss at the start of last month, succeeding Norwich-bound Paul Lambert.
Having been out of management since leaving Watford by mutual consent 11 months ago, he has already made his mark at the Weston Homes Community Stadium, with his new charges so far unbeaten under his command.
Tuesday’s win over Charlton was achieved with the help of two goals from on-loan Barnsley striker Kayode Odejayi.
And Boothroyd pointed out: “Kayode was terrific throughout the whole of the 90 minutes and deserved to get his two goals.
“When you have big guys up front and you put the ball in the right areas you can create a fear factor for the opposition and that’s what we did.
“But the guys that score the goals get all of the headlines and the likes of Clive Platt and Kevin Lisbie deserve credit too.”