Colchester United’s patched up team for Bristol City

Frankie Kent, set for his full senior debut at Bristol City tomorrow

Frankie Kent, set for his full senior debut at Bristol City tomorrow - Credit: Archant

Colchester United boss, Joe Dunne, will have to field a patched-up team at Bristol City tomorrow.

The U’s boss was hoping that an appeal lodged against Magnus Okuonghae’s red card, for handball during Tuesday night’s 4-0 defeat at Charlton Athletic in the Capital One Cup, would be successful, but that appeal was thrown out yesterday.

Centre-half Okuonghae, appointed the U’s new club captain at the start of the season, therefore serves a one-match ban, which will mean him missing the weekend jaunt to Ashton Gate.

To make matters worse, his obvious replacement, Josh Thompson, damaged a hamstring during the warm-up at Charlton, and so now faces another spell on the sidelines.

The luckless Thompson only made one brief appearance last season, due to a serious ankle injury, and is struggling to get himself match-fit.

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Tweaking his hamstring will knock him back further, in his quest for a first team return.

Instead, Dunne is set to give 18-year-old centre-half Frankie Kent his full debut, alongside Tom Eastman in the heart of defence.

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Dunne was already missing five players, through injury, in the build up to Tuesday night’s Cup exit – a penalty by Yoni Buyens, awarded for Okuonghae’s handball, a brace of goals from ex-U’s defender Lawrie Wilson early in the second half, and an 89th minute tap-in for substitute Simon Church sealed the U’s fate.

They have now failed to win any of their last eight cup games, across the three cup competitions, since an FA Cup first round success at Crewe in 2012.

Sanchez Watt, Drey Wright, David Wright, Craig Eastmond and Tosin Olufemi were all unavailable for the Charlton game, and none of them will be fit enough to return at Bristol.

“It’s a great credit to the players at Charlton, because they put a shift in,” insisted Dunne.

“I’ve got no players available, but I have to patch them up and put them out again on Saturday, at Bristol.

“Bristol City must be rubbing their hands, seeing this result, so we’ve got to go there and believe in ourselves, like we did at Charlton.

“Anyone there could see that initially we were really in the game.”

Dunne continued: “Before the Charlton game, Josh Thompson said he was not fit enough to go on the pitch, because of his hamstring.

“So I couldn’t bring on Josh, because after the warm-up he was unavailable. I only had six subs.

“That obviously gives us a huge problem for Saturday (at Bristol), but it’s nothing that I am not used to, unfortunately, so we will find a solution.”

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