Cousins all set for fight

COLCHESTER United's new first choice keeper, Mark Cousins, has no intention of relinquishing his role without a fight.

Carl Marston

COLCHESTER United's new first choice keeper, Mark Cousins, has no intention of relinquishing his role without a fight.

Cousins should retain his place tonight, for the visit of relegation-haunted Swindon Town, after celebrating his first clean-sheet in the Football League at Oldham on Saturday.

Ex-youth teamer Cousins was a virtual bystander in the first half at Boundary Park, but was then forced into three good saves in the second period as the Latics searched for an equaliser. However, the U's defence, and rookie keeper Cousins, stood firm in a 1-0 victory.


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“It was a great away performance, and it was fantastic to keep a clean-sheet. That really topped it off for me,” enthused Cousins, who was starting only his third league match.

“I've now played two games in a row, and I want to keep this run going. It's up to me to kick on. I want to hold onto my place, though I know that I face some stiff competition from Dean (Gerken). I hope to retain my place against Swindon.

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“We are still there in with a chance of the play-offs. That's what the gaffer has told us, and a couple of results went our way over the weekend.

“We have two home games coming up, against Swindon and Crewe (on Saturday), so who knows what will happen? If we can win them, then we will be creeping up towards the play-offs,” added Cousins.

Chelmsford-born Cousins had only made a couple of senior appearances as a substitute before this season, playing second to fiddle to the experienced Gerken.

But the 22-year-old has since enjoyed the experience of three starts in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy, and one in the FA Cup, as well as starting three league games.

Jimmy Walker's return to West Ham last week, following the end of his three-month loan, has paved the way for a head-to-head between Cousins and Gerken. And at the moment it is Cousins who is getting the nod.

Manager Paul Lambert could name an unchanged side tonight, with centre-half Chris Coyne poised to start his first home game since Christmas. Coyne replaced long-term injury casualty Paul Reid at Oldham.

Cousins added: “I thought that Chris (Coyne) came in and did well. Both he and Pat Baldwin were fantastic at the back, against some experienced strikers. Hopefully, they will continue the good work against Swindon.”

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