A Colchester United fit XI versus a U’s injured XI – who would win such an encounter?
- Credit: Richard Blaxall / Pagepix
Colchester United probably have a stronger-looking team of injured players, than they do fit players at the moment.
The U’s suffered only their fourth defeat in their last 16 matches on Tuesday night, undone by Sam Jones’ 43rd minute goal in Grimsby Town’s narrow 1-0 win.
Manager John McGreal praised his patched-up team for their performance at Blundell Park, despite the glut of injuries.
McGreal insisted: “It was probably the best football that we had played for the last few weeks, and yet we’ve come away with nothing.
“But I’m not coming away with nothing – I’m coming away with a good away performance against a team also pushing for the top seven. And we will take that performance into Cambridge on Saturday.
“We are enjoying our football at the minute, although we were bitterly disappointed with the result at Grimsby.
“We remain in a fantastic place (ninth spot), somewhere we have not been in several years. There were some excellent performances at Grimsby, but we just didn’t get the result.”
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The U’s starting XI on Tuesday night was as follows: Walker, James, Elokobi, Briggs, Wright, Garvan, Lapslie, Dickenson, Murray, Fosu & Porter.
And yet how many players would have started, if McGreal had a fully-fit squad at his disposal?
Here is a U’s starting XI of current injured players: Brill, Brindley, Prosser, Kent, Eastman, Doyley, Loft, O’Sullivan, Szmodics, Guthrie & Johnstone.
Furthermore, key midfielder Craig Slater, an unused substitute at Grimsby, is really struggling with an ongoing groin problem, while Lewis Kinsella, another unused substitute, has not played since September after a long-term ankle injury.
Leading scorer Guthrie, who seriously injured his ankle in last Saturday’s 2-1 home win over Hartlepool, missed his first league game of the season at Grimsby, the first of several.
Likewise, right wing-back Brindley sat out only his second league game –- both players are usually the first on McGreal’s team-sheet.
“Richard went off on Saturday with his calf, and he’s been struggling, so that’s another body down,” rued McGreal.
It’s only hypothetical, but the U’s crocked XI (when fit) would certainly give the U’s current fit XI a good game!