Cheltenham Town v Colchester United (Preview)

Boss Gary Johnson has urged Cheltenham to make Tuesday’s Colchester clash the start of a winning run required to haul them out of danger.

The Robins are just two places above second-bottom Colchester following a 1-1 draw with Portsmouth on Saturday, leaving them a point above the relegation places.

Johnson said: “We have to start a run of wins. That is no disrespect to Colchester. One win isn’t a run of wins. We need three or four wins before we get into January.”

The Form

Cheltenham were forced to settle for Daniel O’Shaughnessy’s goal  eight minutes to go Pompey levelled through Michael Smith to see the points shared. It leaves them three games without a win in League Two.

Colchester are in dire need of a win having lost away to Yeovil on Saturday. The 2-1 defeat now means they haven’t won in 10 league fixtures. They sit just a point below Johnson’s side and will leapfrog them should they secure a first win since September 10.

Key Players

Goalkeeper Russell Griffiths pulled off a string of wonderful saves to deny Pompey on the weekend and will be looking to build on the performance. With just three clean sheets in the league the Robins will want to tighten up at the back to ensure that games such as Saturday’s are are won, with nine draws so far.

For Colchester, Kurtis Guthrie returns to Gloucestershire for the first time since leaving National League side Forest Green Rovers in the summer. With three goals to his name including one on the weekend in their loss to Yeovil, the forward will be desperate to put together a run of goal scoring form to lift his side out of the relegation zone. The strong winger is very dangerous and Cheltenham fans will know all about him from Gloucestershire derbies last season, where he scored at the New Lawn in a 2-2 draw.

Head to Head

The two sides have met just seven times in the past with the first coming in September 2002. It ended in a 1-1 draw as did the reverse fixture later that season. Cheltenham have won just once against the Essex side coming in October 2008 in League One. The 4-3 thriller remains the only victory. The last time these two sides met was in January 2009 with a 3-1 Colchester win.

Team News

James Dayton is currently out injured having missed out on recent weeks and won’t feature against Colchester. A positive for Gary Johnson is that Kyle Storer returns from suspension and is available.

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