Andy Bond has come back in from the cold
A WEEK is a long time in football.
The previous week, Andy Bond was frozen out of the Colchester United squad and all set for a loan move away from the Weston Homes Community Stadium.
But this week, the U’s midfielder has been back in favour, and champing at the bit to regain his place in the team.
Bond was earmarked for this weekend’s squad, until today’s away game at Hartlepool United was postponed following yesterday’s pitch inspection.
The call-off was frustrating for the ex-Barrow man, who could even have started due to the absence of fellow experienced midfielders Kem Izzet (ankle injury) and Anthony Wordsworth (suspended).
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“Andy seems to have the bit between his teeth again,” enthused manager Joe Dunne.
“I left him out of the squad last weekend (2-1 home defeat to Scunthorpe), but he’s got some drive back, which is great for us all.
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“It wasn’t a case of giving him a rest for the week. Andy came and spoke to me last Thursday, and I did what I did.
“Andy wants to play football, and I’ve always had a policy here that if you are not in the team, and if yet get yourself a loan and get some games which benefits us long term, then I’ll do it.
“I’ve always said that, from day one.
“That’s why John-Joe (O’Toole) is at Bristol (Rovers). He was training with us, but it’s not the same as playing games.
“Andy wanted to go out on loan. We just had a chat over a couple of days, and we thought we had something sorted for him, but that didn’t materialise.
“However, he played for us at Gillingham (in a friendly on Tuesday) and he did well. He looked good.”
Wigan-born Bond was previous manager John Ward’s first signing as U’s boss, in the summer of 2010, following four years at Barrow.
The 26-year-old has gone to make 96 league appearances for the U’s, but has struggled to hold down a regular place in the team this season, which prompted a one-month loan spell at Crewe in September.
A second loan deal looked on the cards last week, but now Bond is ready to stay and help the U’s end a depressing run, which currently stands at nine straight defeats.
By contrast, Bond’s team-mate Ian Henderson has no immediate prospect of returning to the Colchester team.
Front-runner Henderson has not featured in any U’s squad, since appearing as a 60th minute substitute in the 1-0 defeat at Walsall on December 22.
“I have been made Ian available to go out on loan,” revealed Dunne.
“There’s been nothing solid yet, but at the moment Ian is not featuring in my squad.
“Anyone not in my team is potentially available on loan, if they have not been playing for a period of time, because we can cover most positions.”