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INTERVIEW: Mark Robins Colchester United Preview

City take on the U's this weekend...

8 November 2019

The Sky Blues get their Emirates FA Cup campaign underway this weekend and Mark Robins is expecting a tough challenge against Colchester United.

The U’s have done well in cup competitions this season, progressing to the Carabao Cup Quarter-Final, having beating Premier League opposition, Crystal Palace and Tottenham Hotspur along the way.

As the Sky Blues travel to the Job Serve Community Stadium tomorrow afternoon, Robins told how this game has a different feel to it.

He said: “It’s a big cup competition and we say the same things every year and there’s always teams that are trying to impose a shock and we’re playing against a team from a lower division but they’re a really good team.

“It’s a different sort of feel, there’s no three points but there’s a place in the hat for the next round and the excitement of the draw and all those things.

“As soon as Jermaine (Beckford) pulled our number out of the hat we knew we were away from home against a good side and they’re playing really well, John McGreal’s doing a fantastic job down there and it will be a tough game.

“It’s a good stadium, good pitch and they play some decent football so I’m expecting a good game and it’s certainly a game we want to win to progress in the competition and go as far as we can.

“They’re doing well in the cup, obviously they’ve just pulled out a plum tie at Old Trafford and they’ve beaten Tottenham this season so we know it’s a tough game, but its one we look forward to and see if we can go there and get a win.”

Lining-up against the Sky Blues will likely be former academy graduate, Ben Stevenson, who left the club in January 2018, as well as former striker, Frank Nouble.

Robins is well aware of the talent the duo will possess, as well as his teammates at Colchester come kick-off.

“I’ve only read what John has said and he thinks it will be one of the toughest games for them and hopefully it will be, they’ve assembled a squad and they’ve reinvested money and they’re running it similarly to ourselves and they play a good style of football and they’ve got pace and power.

“Obviously Ben Stevenson’s there and I think he is a really good footballer and he’s doing well for Colchester, he’s got himself in their team regularly and they’ve got a lot of midfield players so he’s playing in their midfield and scoring some goals as well.

“He’s got a little bit older, eighteen months older than when he left and he’s a talent, a talented player and I’m pleased to see him doing well.

“Also, Callum Harriot’s there and he’s been injured but he’s sort of coming back into the team but he’s played in the Championship and was a really good player at Charlton previously and he’s ended up at Colchester and sort of working his way back up but that’s just one player.

“Courtney Senior is a really good talent. They’ve taken players from other teams, signed Luke Norris and paid money for him from Swindon Town who’s a good player who’s coming back from injury and will feature tomorrow no doubt.

“Frank Nouble everybody knows, he’s a good player and on his day he’s a real handful and clearly with his connections here he’ll want to impress and Ben’s the same.

“They’ve got Cohen Bramall at left back who Arsenal took a few years ago, he’s got obvious pace and they’ve got some really good players.”

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