Biggest games of Vincent's career

COLCHESTER United's last three games of the season might prove to be the biggest three games in Ashley Vincent's career!

Carl Marston

COLCHESTER United's last three games of the season might prove to be the biggest three games in Ashley Vincent's career!

The U's front-runner arrived on loan from Cheltenham Town at the end of March, with a view to securing a permanent deal at the Community Stadium.

And having shaken off a niggling knee injury, Vincent has finally forced his way into the starting line-up. But there is no guarantee that he will still be with the U's for next season.

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Much could depend on how he performs during the last three weeks of the campaign, starting with tomorrow's trip to bottom club Hereford.

“It's a big step up in my career, to come to Colchester United, and I want to stay here,” insisted Vincent yesterday.

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“I've snatched at this opportunity to come to a club who want to get back into the Championship. I want to be here for next season, but that's in the gaffer's hands.

“That's why these next three games are big for me. I want to show the manager what I can do,” added Vincent.

After making his debut as a 72nd minute substitute in the home game against Leeds, Vincent was handed his full debut at Leyton Orient last Saturday, and he retained his place for Easter Monday's home game against Brighton.

The 23-year-old was satisfied with his performance at Brisbane Road, despite the 2-1 defeat - he was substituted after 70 minutes with the score still at 1-1 - but he admitted that no one hit top-form in the 1-0 defeat at the hands of the Seagulls.

Vincent continued: “I thought we were virtually unplayable for the first 60 minutes at Leyton Orient, but we did not put our chances away.

“Perhaps we thought that the goals would just come along, because we were playing so well? It was different on Monday. We didn't play to our potential.

“People may have thought that we looked like a team who had nothing to play for, but that was not the case. The crowd can be very unforgiving here, but understandably so. We have to do better.”

Former Wolves trainee Vincent, who moved to Cheltenham during the summer of 2004, played 110 league games for the Robins before his switch to the U's. He chose United ahead of MK Dons, who were also keen to sign him.

He spent most of his time as a winger at Cheltenham, although he can also operate as a striker, a position he played for the U's both at Leyton Orient and against Brighton.

“I've really enjoyed it, getting into the team, although the results have not gone our way. We have been sloppy to lose those games,” continued Vincent.

“It's a different world from playing for Cheltenham. They are a good, solid side, but it's nice to be in a team that tries to keep the ball on the ground, and get down and play, which is just what my old pals Gilly (former Cheltenham team-mate Steven Gillespie) and Lewie (Wolves loanee Lewis Gobern) both said would happen.

“I like to try to get behind defenders, but it's just a shame that I haven't been on the winning side yet, since I've been here.

“Having played 30 or so games as a winger this season, now I have been playing down the middle, which is where I probably prefer to play, though it was unusual to play as a solo striker (against Brighton).

“I don't know whether the gaffer sees me as a winger or a centre-forward, but I'd like to think that I was versatile and could play in both roles,” said Vincent.

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