Pompey v Colchester: The opposition view

It's a new head coach and a new division, but a promising start for Colchester.

Saturday, 20th August 2016, 9:30 am
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 6:01 pm
Former Pompey defender Alex Wynter

They’ve managed to take seven points from nine and win back-to-back home games for the first time since last September.

There’s been quite a lot of change over the summer.

A few players have left, like Alex Gilbey, George Moncur and Joe Edwards who were all first-team regulars.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

There has been seven new signings come in and also some young players promoted from the under-23 squad.

On top of that, there’s a new coach, John McGreal, in charge of the first team.

Ben Dickenson has been the team’s standout performer so far.

He arrived from Gillingham on a free transfer and is playing really, really well.

He missed the first game of the season with an ankle problem but played well at Brighton, who are one of his former clubs.

After that he scored one and made one against Cambridge and followed it up with two goals from the left flank against Grimsby.

Colchester tend to play a 4-2-3-1 formation but have switched to a 4-1-4-1 for the past couple of games.

That has seen Tom Lapslie play in front of the back four and Kurtis Guthrie, who’s essentially a forward, drop into midfield. It’s worked really well.

The manager was with the academy for a fair few years but was promoted from the under-21s at the end of last season.

It’s a different set-up here these days with Tony Hume as director of football, so the head coach title for McGreal is fairly significant.

He is in charge of the coaching, tactics and getting the results.

Pompey fans will remember Alex Wynter who had a good pre-season.

He had a really nasty injury against Spurs in the FA Cup last season when he was out with concussion for a long time.

It was quite a sickening injury and they were worried about him, but he’s made a gradual recovery.

I was surprised he didn’t start the first game, but he’s next in line if either of the central defenders get injured.

He can play right-back, too, of course and signed a new contract at the end of last season. I think he’s part of McGreal’s plans.

Chris Porter starts up front, a player who divides fans. There are a few who want to see Denny Johnstone, who arrived from Birmingham in the summer.

It’s a game to look forward to for Colchester. I don’t think they will come and just defend, but I’d think they’d be happy with a point.