Boothroyd demanding a reaction

Chris LakeyColchester boss Aidy Boothroyd is warning Norwich that they could face a backlash from his wounded team. The U's haven't kicked a ball in anger since a 7-0 FA Cup thumping at Preston 11 days ago, which sets the scene perfectly for the visit of City on Saturday.Chris Lakey

Colchester boss Aidy Boothroyd is warning Norwich that they could face a backlash from his wounded team.

The U's haven't kicked a ball in anger since a 7-0 FA Cup thumping at Preston 11 days ago, which sets the scene perfectly for the visit of City on Saturday.

That Deepdale defeat isn't sitting comfortably in Essex, but Boothroyd says his players can turn it into a positive this weekend for match which needs little extra incentive for either side.

'Our last game was an embarrassing and hurtful one, but the best way to put that right is to go out and smash somebody,' said Boothroyd. 'Sometimes as a footballer you have to go through some really bad experiences to ultimately become a better player.

'It's a fool who makes the same mistake twice and if any of my players do then they are not worthy of wearing the shirt.

'It won't be the same team that plays - changes will obviously have to be made - and I'm expecting somebody to get a real backlash.

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'I think you learn a lot about people when they are winning, but you also learn a lot when they are losing. I learnt a lot about my players at Preston; some things good, some things not so good.

'For me, anybody can talk; it's the doing that counts. I'm not really interested in whose pounding tables and punching their chests at the moment. I'll wait until they get back out on the pitch to see who really reacts.'

Colchester's 10,000-capacity Weston Homes Community Stadium will be full for the first time on Saturday when the latest chapter of an almost surreal story will unfold.

It all started on the opening day when City were thumped 7-1 at home by Colchester, prompting the dismissal of manager Bryan Gunn - and the defection of Us boss Paul Lambert for Carrow Road.

Chapter two was the compensation battle for the services of Lambert and his management team, which will go to a Football League tribunal, most likely within the next few weeks.

Colchester chairman Robbie Cowling has been scathing in his comments over Norwich's behaviour - and relations weren't helped when he said he would rather have empty seats at the ground this weekend than increase City's ticket allocation.

On the footballing side, it's two teams in top form both chasing promotion.

'We had a freak result at the beginning of the season with the 7-1 win at Norwich and we've now had another freak result with a 7-0 loss at Preston,' said Boothroyd.

'That will be a great Trivial Pursuit question in years to come, but I want that question to start: 'Which team went on to gain promotion after…' And if anyone gets the answer to that one then they will deserve to get their slice of cheese!'

t The player left shell-shocked by Grant Holt's double at the weekend reckons City's leading scorer is heading for bigger and better things.

Exeter captain Matt Taylor was sick on the pitch before kick-off - and wasn't feeling much better an hour and a half later after Holt's double sent the Grecians tumbling to a 3-1 defeat.

'We knew where their dangers were, but Grant Holt took his goals really well,' said Taylor.

'Their first one came from a quality cross and Holt will score goals like that all season. We knew it was coming and I don't think we could have done anything to deal with it. We bounced back at the end of the first half and were the better team.

'But they have got quality centre forwards who are probably above the level and that is why they are second in the league.

'Norwich play in a certain way that suits Grant Holt. He will probably play at a higher level so fair play to him.'

Taylor's warm-up was interrupted when he was sick on the sidelines - much to the amusement of his team-mates - although he recovered after a visit to the dressing rooms.

'I don't think there are many players who have been sick in front of that many people,' he said.

'I have not been sick like that for a long time but I felt better once I got it out.'