Simon Weaver challenges Harrogate Town players to keep their standards high ahead of Colchester United trip

The challenge facing Harrogate Town at Colchester United this weekend is two-fold.

Thursday, 14th October 2021, 9:05 am
Harrogate Town manager Simon Weaver was thrilled with his side's performance against Scunthorpe United last time out and has challenged his players to pick up where they left off when they visit Colchester United this weekend. Pictures: Matt Kirkham

Firstly, the Sulphurites must avoid an ‘after the lord mayor’s show’-type scenario having reached new heights during Saturday’s sensational six-goal demolition of Scunthorpe United.

Secondly, Simon Weaver’s men need to right the wrongs of one of their stand-out defeats of the 2020/21 campaign, a 2-1 loss to the U’s in a game which saw them create enough chances to have won twice over.

“That is the challenge on Saturday, making sure that our focus, desire and intensity is exactly the same as it was at 3pm seven days earlier,” Weaver said.

Harrogate Town were beaten 2-1 on their last visit to the Colchester Community Stadium.

“Of course we are just wanting more of the same, the Scunthorpe performance was excellent, but I’ve seen it plenty of times in different sports where a team succumbs to complacency following a really convincing victory.

“Our players know what it takes to not become complacent and I don’t believe that these lads are just very good players on one-off occasions, but we will soon see at Colchester.

“This will be a test of whether they have a good grasp of that winning mentality and culture we are trying to create.”

Town performed well on their previous visit to the Colchester Community Stadium, creating but failing to convert a host of chances before being stung by a quick-fire double-salvo early in the second period.

Two goals in two minutes from Callum Harriott and Ben Stevenson put the U's in front against the run of play, and although veteran Jon Stead pulled one back soon afterwards, Harrogate would finish up empty-handed.

That defeat - just their second in League Two since they were promoted - seemed to knock the Sulphurites off their stride, sparking a run of six matches without a win following what had been a bright start to life in the Football League.

“It’s one that’s stuck in the memory, that’s how it is with disappointments in sport, you always remember the lows along with the highs,” Weaver added.

“We missed loads of chances in that game, we certainly created enough to have won it.

"So, it’s one we want to put right and show that we’re a better team now than the one that lost at Colchester last season and that we have improved."