Colchester United are chasing a League Two top-seven finish

JOHN McGreal wants to see progression and improvement at Colchester United, this season.

And if the U’s achieve that, there’s every chance they will clinch a top-seven finish.

Colchester have just a dozen games to go this season – and there is still a great deal to play for.

The U’s 3-0 defeat at Port Vale was a big disappointment, as was their 3-2 home reverse at the hands of Grimsby Town before that.

Nevertheless, McGreal’s side still reside in the League Two play-off places.

And with just 12 games remaining – six at home and six away – Colchester are still bang in the mix for at the very least a play-off spot, especially with many of their top-seven rivals still to play.


Salford City (away, 11th position) – February 22

Cheltenham Town (home, fifth position) – February 29

Carlisle United (away, 21st position) – March 7

Scunthorpe United (home, 19th position) – March 14

Crewe Alexandra (home, third position) – March 17

Newport County (away, 16th position) – March 21

Mansfield Town (home, 20th position) – March 28

Bradford City (away, ninth position) – April 4

Northampton Town (away, eight position) – April 10

Oldham Athletic (home, 18th position) – April 13

Walsall (away, 13th position) – April 18

Forest Green Rovers (home, tenth position) - April 25

Of their remaining fixtures, the U’s are still to face six of the sides also residing in the top half of the table – starting with their game at Salford City, on Saturday.

They currently lie on 52 points after 34 games, having averaged 1.52 points a game so far.

If that trend continues, the U’s will pick up just over 18 points - equating to six wins - between now and the end of the season, lifting them to the 70-point total.

And going by the previous ten seasons in League Two, that could well be enough to seal them a play-off place.

The lowest points total to secure a League Two play-off place over the last ten seasons is 69 and the highest is 75; the average is 71.5.

Needless to say, every single point could be crucial and McGreal and his side will be hoping that they will be able to easily surpass that average points total, especially if they can return to the kind of unbeaten form they recently showed.

Last season, Colchester finished on 70 points but agonisingly missed out on the play-offs after Newport County scored a late goal to clinch seventh spot, on the final day of the season.

While the play-offs look very achievable for McGreal’s men, automatic promotion is looking a little tougher to achieve for the U’s, at this stage.

Colchester currently lie nine points off the top three, having played a game more than all of the teams occupying automatic promotion spots.

The average number of points needed for a top-three finish in League Two over the last decade is 82.

And if that tally is needed again this season, Colchester would have to secure at least 28 points to achieve their target – equating to nine wins and a draw.


2018-19 – Newport County (70 points)

2017-18 – Lincoln City (75 points)

2016-17 – Blackpool (70 points)

2015-16 – AFC Wimbledon (75 points)

2014-15 – Plymouth Argyle (71 points)

2013-14 – York City (71 points)

2012-13 – Bradford City (69 points)

2011-12 – Crewe Alexandra (72 points)

2010-11 – Torquay United (68 points)

2009-10 – Dagenham and Redbridge (72 points)