Clarke believes U’s can make play-offs

NATHAN Clarke is fully committed to the Colchester cause – and he believes his new team has a great chance of making the play-offs.

The Yorkshire-born 27-year-old came through the youth ranks at Huddersfield and has racked up 300 appearances at the club over a decade’s service.

Up until last month he had never played for anyone else so you could have forgiven him for being a little apprehensive about a loan move away.

However, with his chances limited at Lee Clark’s big-spending Terriers, there was no hesitation in travelling down to Essex to join the U’s on loan until the end of the season.

The centre-back has now played twice for Colchester – a 2-1 home win over Peterborough and Tuesday night’s 1-0 defeat at Charlton.

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And despite his parent club enjoying a great day out at Arsenal since his exit – the League One visitors running the Premier League giants all the way in a 2-1 FA Cup defeat – Clarke has no regrets over his switch.

“Everything is going fantastic so far,” he said.

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“I think the quick turn around in games has worked out because you don’t really get time to sit down and think too much which is good. It’s exciting, it’s something new and something I’m really enjoying.

“I speak to the lads at Huddersfield most days, my brother (Tom) is still there and I know they had a good couple of days with the Arsenal thing.

“I watched that game but it didn’t feel strange. I’m here now and concentrating on what I can do and what I can bring to the team.”

The long-throw specialist added: “I think Colchester have got a fantastic chance of making the play-offs. The results in previous games that I looked at convinced me of that and the DVDs I’ve seen, as well as the couple of games I’ve played in, has backed that up.

“The lads here, I think, have warmed to me. They’re a fantastic bunch. My wife and little girl are down here now too which makes it easier so it’s working out quite well.

“I don’t feel any pressure to come in and try and prove a point.

“The manager has brought me in to do a job and I’ll just try my best to do that for him.”

– Full match preview of Hartlepool v Colchester in today’s EADT.

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