Aidy’s axe will fall

COLCHESTER United boss Aidy Boothroyd has revealed he will undertake a major cull of his squad this summer.

COLCHESTER United boss Aidy Boothroyd has revealed he will undertake a major cull of his squad this summer.

The U’s play-off ambitions are currently hanging by a thread following just one win from their last 10 matches.

And with just four games to go, Boothroyd is already beginning to think about the off-season and preparing for his first full campaign.

He said: “The squad is too big. It will be whittled down in the summer. A lot of players will have to go elsewhere because they won’t be playing for me.

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“There are six out-of-contract and I’ve made my decision on some of them already.”

Boothroyd was reluctant to confirm who those players were, however that list definitely includes Phil Ifil, David Prutton and Matt Lockwood.

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The U’s boss has already confirmed that midfielder Prutton – who signed on a short-term term contract in February – will be offered a new deal, while left-back Lockwood will be let go. Ifil has been in and out of the side.

Other players that could potentially be reaching the end of their current deals include: Steven Gillespie, Clive Platt, Paul Reid, John White, Ben Williams, David Perkins, Scott Vernon, Sam Corcoran and Russell Malton.

Of that list, Gillespie has found chances limited this season, Reid has suffered badly with injury, while Perkins, Vernon, Corcoran and Malton have all been sent out on loan.

In contrast, keeper Williams, right-back White and striker Platt have all played regularly this season and come in for praise from their manager.

Meanwhile, there are a number of further players who still have at least another year on their contracts left to run who could well be sold in the summer.

Boothroyd has already tried to sell Pat Baldwin, while Simon Hackney, Lee Beevers, Alan Maybury, Joel Thomas and, to a slightly lesser extent, David Fox, all appear out-of-favour.

In addition, a decision will have to be made on whether to try and keep loan players Kevin Lisbie (Ipswich), Danny Batth (Wolves) and Franck Queudrue (Birmingham) at the club.

Boothroyd said: “Because I arrived in September it’s been a bit like building an aeroplane while it’s in the sky. I’ve been adding bits and dropping bits off as we go.”

“Some players I might need to give another chance, while I’ll look at others and think they might need to play elsewhere.

“If you don’t do that then you just end up with footballers just standing around and getting stale.”

– Full match preview of Colchester’s crunch trip to Hartlepool in tomorrow’s EADT.

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