COLCHESTER UNITED FOOTBALL CLUB could be relegated on Saturday should they fail to win against promotion-chasing Burton Albion at the Weston Homes Community Stadium.
The two sides have already met this season, with the Brewers smashing five past the U’s in November.
Callum Harriott had put the U’s ahead on four minutes, but goals from Nasser El Khayati (25) and Mark Duffy (34) pulled the hosts ahead.
Three goals in the second half by Tom Naylor (51), Lucas Akins (72) and Timmy Thiele (81) consigned the U’s to a 4-goal deficit which they were unable to overturn.
Since then, the U’s have gone through two sets of managers, with Kevin Keen now occupying the U’s hot-seat.
Richard Hall and John McGall lead the U’s as caretaker managers in the match with Burton in November, two days after Tony Humes was dismissed.
Wayne Brown began a spell as caretaker manager in December, before Keen was announced as manager on 21st December – days before the Boxing Day derby against Southend United.
The race for the Sky Bet League One title is going to the wire, with Burton currently three points behind leaders Wigan Athletic, and the Brewers will want to close the gap between them and the Latics.
Looking ahead to his side’s trip to Essex, Burton boss Nigel Clough, said:
“We think Colchester might really go for it on Saturday and after speaking to the Wigan lads in the office last night after the game, they were telling us about how good Colchester are at going forward!”
Clough ruled out any chance of Tom Flanagan returning to the team, but announced that Damien McCrory could make a possible appearance.
“We have Callum Reilly who came in and did well last night,” he said, “but we are now talking about possibly our third choice left back which probably isn’t ideal.”
Colchester’s 1-1 draw at Crewe Alexandra during the week left the U’s on a knife edge and they will be a Sky Bet League Two side come Saturday if they don’t win.