Colchester United have no reason to revamp training despite the glut of serious injuries

Kurtis Guthrie was one of many Colchester United players to suffer a serious injury, during a match

Kurtis Guthrie was one of many Colchester United players to suffer a serious injury, during a match rather than in training. Here the U's striker is taken from the pitch on a stretcher after sustaining an ankle injury late on during the U's 2-1 home win over Hartlepool. Picture: STEVE WALLER - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Colchester United boss, John McGreal, sees no reason to revamp the Essex club’s training regime, despite the spate of long-term injuries last season.

Sammie Szmodics is distraught after suffering a broken leg at Crewe in March. Picture: RICHARD BLAX

Sammie Szmodics is distraught after suffering a broken leg at Crewe in March. Picture: RICHARD BLAXALL - Credit: Richard Blaxall / Pagepix

The U’s were dogged by a number of serious injuries, all happening at the same stages of the campaign, which hampered their chances of making the League Two play-offs – they eventually finished just one place and one point outside the top seven.

Key players such as Matt Briggs, Owen Garvan, Frankie Kent and Doug Loft were sidelined from virtually the start of the campaign.

And the likes of Lewis Kinsella, Luke Prosser, Kurtis Guthrie, Sammie Szmodics, Denny Johnstone, Tom Eastman, Lloyd Doyley and Craig Slater all picked up long-term injuries as the season progressed, with player-of-the-season Brennan Dickenson suffering cruciate ligament damage during the important run-in over the last month.

However, nearly all these injuries, with the exception of left wing-back Dickenson, were sustained in a match-situation, rather than being incurred during training sessions.


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“Dicko (Dickenson) was the only one who was injured in training,” confirmed McGreal.

“We’ve gone over it (our training), and looked at all the injuries. A lot of them happened on the pitch in a game, like your Szmodics, Prossers and Guthries.

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“(Craig) Slater had his problem (groin/hernia) up north, and it just came back to him when he came here, so that was like an ongoing type of problem.

“We’ve looked at the training, and it’s been really good, albeit for Brennan (Dickenson) getting injured on the training ground. That was a little bit difficult to hide.

“But the majority have just been contacts injuries, and surreal ones, when we look back at it.

“We’re looking at different things and different ways of how we can tailor (training) to individual needs, but these things happen.

“You look at Manchester United at the top level, you hear Jose Mourinho banging on about the number of injuries he had at the minute. You do get injuries, it happens. Liverpool have been another example of late.

“It’s difficult. There’s no majic wand. You’re going to get injuries, it’s just that we had them collectively two or three times last season. Hopefully, that won’t happen this year.”

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