Ben Williams will not be dropped - John Ward
COLCHESTER United boss John Ward will not be dropping his goalkeeper, Ben Williams, despite his side’s horrendous 6-1 home defeat to Stevenage on Boxing Day.
Williams, like the rest of the team, produced a below-par performance during Monday’s club record home defeat.
The ex-Carlisle custodian would have expected to have done better with at least two of Stevenage’s six goals.
However, Williams has generally been in good form this season, since his return from a mystery virus, and he is set to retain his place in goal at home to Exeter City tomorrow (1pm kick-off).
“The two games prior to that, Ben had a clean-sheet and a last minute goal against him,” explained Ward, with reference to a 1-0 win at Hartlepool and a 4-1 victory over Bury.
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“Against Bury he made two fantastic saves, which kept us in the game against a team that didn’t dominate, but still had two good shots on goal.
“And away at Hartlepool, in a strong performance, he kept a clean-sheet.
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“Now if I am going to chop and change, here, there and everywhere, every-time someone has a disruptive game, then I’m never going to get any kind of consistency.
“Ben knows that he can do better than that, and in the two previous games he did do better than that.
“He may be the one that says to me – ‘thanks very much for giving me a chance, I’ll show you I can do it.’
“I think at the moment I can say that Ben Williams will play, because I think he deserves it on the two previous games.
“He is a better goalkeeper than what we saw on Monday, and that also goes for my whole back four.
“But Ben knows that he has to play pretty well on Saturday,” added Ward.
The U’s have bounced back from recent disappointments, especially last month’s 5-1 home defeat to MK Dons, and then the FA Cup exit at the hands of League Two visitors Swindon Town.
Now Ward expects another rearguard action from his team.
“I don’t think anyone should be knocking on my door, if they’re not in the starting line-up for this weekend, especially if they played on Monday,” insisted Ward.
“If they are in, maybe they should knock on my door and say that ‘I am lucky and will do my best.’
“I want that sort of reaction from them, to be grateful for having another chance.
“We have been here before, when we had the doom and gloom of Swindon and MK Dons, and everyone was wondering what would happen next.
“We came back with two really good performances after that. The point is we can do that,” concluded Ward.
Leading scorer Anthony Wordsworth, who missed the Stevenage defeat through suspension, is set to return to the side against an Exeter team who have only won once away from home in the league all season.