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No Team Talk Required

16 December 2015

Watto on derby day intensity.

"The games don't come around too often and the break means this one has a bit extra - the fans have certainly been stepping that up with some of the comments flying back and forth over the last few weeks!"

"The Essex Derby is right up there with the others that I've played in during my time at the likes of Swindon, Rotherham and Reading," he told the official website.

And he believes the gap since the last game gives Boxing Day a bit of extra spice.

One man with experience of the intensity of the games between the U's and Southend is current Stevenage assistant manager Kevin Watson.

There has been a five year hiatus since the two teams faced each other, but the Shrimpers' return to League One means the Essex Derby is once again on the footballing calendar.

The clock is ticking until Colchester United resume rivalries with their Essex neighbours Southend United on Boxing Day. "This is the sort of game that the players don't need any help getting themselves up for it. There's not really a need for a team talk and all the hype around the game will do the talking for the managers," he added. 

Kevin played in five Essex derbies during his time at Colchester, including the match at Layer Road in November 2006, where Karl Duguid was up to his old tricks and referee Steve Bennett sent off three players in the match as the U's won 3-0.

"That's how it was for us and it was probably one of the easiest games that Parky had in terms of getting his team motivated for the match.

"It's all about going out there and having pride in your performance and to make sure you beat your local rivals.

"But then bang, you're losing and it's the away team on the front foot.

"Curo scored the goal early on and it deflated them as they'd no doubt been told to come flying out the blocks on their home turf," he recalled.

It was a perfect away day and Kevin remembers it fondly.

When we've been hearing from U's fans so far, Jamie Cureton's hat-trick at Roots Hall, with the sun beaming down, is regularly cited as their favourite recent game against the Shrimpers.

"The quality you would show in other games tends to go out the window, and it's all about the desire and application to get the result you need."

"It set us up for the game and we were excellent from start to finish, we took them to task and scored two more after that. ot all games will pan out as easy as that one did, because the nature of the beast says that won't happen in derby games, but that one was a special day and the little man is still going now.

"You look at him now and see him playing, and physically he's probably fitter than at any other point in his career. He's really worked hard to keep going and it's a testament to him that he's still scoring goals."

Whilst the U's brace themselves for games against Rochdale, Southend, Gillingham and Oldham, it's a more southern feel for Kevin's current club Stevenage as they prepare for the festive period.

Recent results have seen Teddy Sheringham's side go six unbeaten and there are signs of hope for Boro as they look toward the second half of the season.

"We're going OK. It took us 15 or 16 games to get a settled side and formation and for the lads to get a sense of what we wanted them to do, but we're looking good now," Kevin explained.

"We have Accrington on Saturday, who have only let in seven goals away from home all season so that will be a tough one to start with, then we take on Crawley on Boxing Day at their place, Dagenham at home on the 28th, then Orient on January 2nd.

"I've seen nothing to be frightened off and we know it's just a matter of consistency for us if we are to climb the league."

"I see no reason why we can't climb the table now. We are not looking below us and we are only eight off the play-offs, and we want to get as close as we possibly can.

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