We can look back on our recent form with pride

WE’D have loved to have gone into this two-week period without a game on the back of a positive result.

But you can look back on the last ten or 11 games with pride, after what we’ve done.

We’re in touching distance of the play-offs and the top three teams aren’t a huge distance away, either.

We didn’t want to be without a fixture this weekend, because it means that we’re out of the FA Cup.

But I think over this period we can take stock of all of the good things that we’ve done, as we prepare for the Exeter City game.

It’s a long season and it’s important that we use this time to try and recover both physically and mentally and rest up.

The manager has been good to us and we’re on the same page, so it’ll be a good opportunity for people to go and see family or perhaps do a bit of Christmas shopping, as we head into a very important December for us.

I’m going to take the opportunity on Saturday to go to Day School as part of the business degree I’m currently studying for – it’ll certainly be a very different Saturday for me!

So close to getting a point at Notts County

IT’S always difficult when you concede so late on and the Notts County game was no different.

The disappointing thing is that we were so close to getting a good point away from home at the joint league leaders and the result did not reflect our performance, if you like.

We felt that we were by far the better team in the first half and that we didn’t have to cope with a large amount of danger in the second half.

We dealt with what they had to throw at us but in the end we were undone by two set pieces, including the penalty.

There’s been a number of times over the last few weeks where we’ve been seeing out games well and at no real point have we felt under pressure.

When we equalised with five minutes to go to make it 1-1, I genuinely didn’t think it would be a difficult remainder of the game for us and I was confident that we would see the game out but we switched off a little bit from the set piece.

I was delighted for Sanmi after he scored our equaliser.

He works so hard on his game on the training pitch and when he came on and scored, it felt like he was going to be the hero of the day.

It was a really good finish and he’s up there with the hardest-working members of our squad.

He puts the hard yards in to keep himself sharp and that’s why I was so pleased for him – hopefully, he can continue to make an impact.

Lionesses' visit was great for the club

I WATCHED some of the England Women’s international on television on Tuesday night.

I must admit, it was a bit weird watching football taking place at Colchester United that wasn’t Colchester United!

But it came across very well – the Community Stadium pitch was great and it was so good to see so many people there.

The club have done a great job with getting so many England international games there over the years, plus all of the major music concerts they’ve had with the likes of Lionel Richie and Sir Elton John.

It was great to see England’s women win so convincingly – they put in a great performance and it was a great advert for the club and for everyone involved.

I owe a lot to Dermot Drummy

I WAS extremely saddened to learn of the death of my former coach, Dermot Drummy.

Dermot was my under-16 coach and youth-team manager when I was a youngster at Chelsea and we won the FA Youth Cup under him.

We were far from the finished article and Dermot really brought me on.

I was a youth-team keeper there for a number of years and I’ll never forget that Youth Cup win and the celebrations afterwards.

I was very upset to hear the news and 56 is no age for anyone to pass away.

Having worked so hard with him at Chelsea, it was a big shock but the amount of tributes that have been paid to him shows how highly regarded he was.

He was a fantastic coach and a fantastic man – I owe a lot to him.

Time for England's cricketers to step up

I MANAGED to take in a decent amount of the first Ashes Test and the final outcome was very disappointing, from an England point of view.

It goes without saying that we will need to recover quickly to losing to Australia and the Second Test in Adelaide this weekend is a chance for us to do that.

I think the fact that it’s a day-night match with the pink ball can suit us and hopefully, we’ll be able to get a lot more out of the wicket and more out of the ball.

When you lose a Test Match in the manner, you hear a lot of doom and gloom and I must admit, it’s difficult to see how we’re going to take ten Australian wickets at the moment.

But there were some positives like the form of newcomers James Vince and Mark Stoneman and hopefully, Alastair Cook will come good and Joe Root can get a good score.

We go to Perth for the third Test and it’s important that we stop the rot before then.

I hold all of the cards!

IT was funny to hear that apparently Kurt Zouma has been banned by Paul Pogba from coming to his house after he beat him at cards there.

We have a little card school on our away trips and I have to say, I do clean up most weeks – no-one seems to be able to beat me!

I play with the likes of Easty, Tom Lapslie, Drey Wright and Doug Loft and I’m certainly up at the moment – there are also a couple of boys who are substantially down!

Easty tends to get a bit of stick for being a bit fluky and that winds the others up a bit, especially Lapslie and Drey.

It’s good fun and it passes the time on those long away trips.

Parental guidance

SO apparently Neymar’s dad has refused to rule out the prospect of his son joining Real Madrid in ‘five or six years’.

It sounds like he has a big influence on his son and I’m the same with my dad.

He plays a huge role for me and my career and he still comes to the vast majority of my games to see me play.

I think he’s only missed about ten games in my career, home and away – the reason for him usually missing a match is because he’s playing cricket.

My uncle and mum come along to watch, too.

I’ve always gauged my dad’s opinion on contracts and loans during my career and my family in general can be objective, so it’s nice to get their opinions.

Hitting the right notes

MY little cousins are Little Mix fans and I think I might try and pull a few strings for them, seeing as they will be performing at the Community Stadium next summer.

I don’t think many of the boys in our squad are massive fans, though.

In all seriousness though, it’s a big coup to have them and Little Mix are a big deal – it just adds to the feel that the stadium is more than just being about Colchester United and I think that’s good for everyone.

It’s a very well-run operation, which is why they are attracting the artists they are to the venue.