Close ties between tomorrow's rivals

THE element of surprise will be lost on both Colchester United and Charlton Athletic as the duo prepare to clash at Layer Road tomorrow.U's skipper Karl Duguid admits that secrets will be at a premium, due to the many connections between the two clubs.

By Carl Marston

THE element of surprise will be lost on both Colchester United and Charlton Athletic as the duo prepare to clash at Layer Road tomorrow.

U's skipper Karl Duguid admits that secrets will be at a premium, due to the many connections between the two clubs. But despite this excessive familiarity, a big Layer Road crowd should still be treated to a cracking game.

“We've just had two weeks between games, which seems a very long time, but you couldn't hope for a better match to return than against Charlton,” insisted Duguid last night.


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“There are so many old connections. Kevin (Lisbie) and Kem (Izzet) are both looking forward to playing against their old club, while there are a lot of familiar faces in Charlton's ranks.

“It's the return of big Chris (Iwelumo) and the old boss Parky (Phil Parkinson). Physio Stuart Ayles is also there, and Mark Kinsella is on the coaching staff.

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“Then of course there's Teddy Sheringham, and Charlton's manager Alan Pardew, who were together at West Ham. There won't be many secrets around, but it should be an interesting afternoon,” added Duguid.

Both striker Lisbie and midfielder Izzet are products of the Charlton youth team system, so both will be keen to impress against their old club.

Lisbie spent 11 years as a professional at the Valley, before his move to Layer Road this summer. By contrast, Izzet moved to the U's in 2001 without making a senior appearance for the Addicks.

Of course just as Lisbie will be able to let on a few secrets about the Charlton squad, so both Iwelumo and Parkinson will be familiar with most of the U's squad. It was ex-boss Parkinson who masterminded the U's promotion to the Championship during his three-and-a-half-year tenure at the club.

Duguid continued: “It will feel weird playing against Chris (Iwelumo). He did well for us over two years, and he scored a lot of goals (37 goals in 103 appearances)

“You couldn't really ask for more than that from Chris. We know that he's a handful, but we know his game, just as he knows about us! We're ready for him, though I guess he's ready for us as well!

“Not having international players in the squad means that we have all been able to have a rest. Most other Championship clubs will have had some of their players travelling here, there and everywhere, including Charlton.

“We were all disappointed with our defeat to Burnley (3-2) in our last match. We want to get that out of our system, and I suppose that it was a big reality check for us.

“We felt that we didn't perform on the day, but now we have a big week coming up,” added Duguid, who is set to make his 405th appearance for the U's tomorrow afternoon.

The home defeat by Burnley was the U's first league reverse of the season, following 2-2 draws at Sheffield United and against Barnsley, and a 3-0 success at Preston.

Now they are set to take on a star-studded Charlton outfit, who were playing in the Premier League only a few months ago, before going on the road with away games at Southampton (on Wednesday) and Blackpool (the following weekend).

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