Crisis, Watt crisis? But U’s need the squad bolstered

Sanchez Watt

Sanchez Watt - Credit: Archant

This is a big week for Colchester United, in terms of injuries and potential new recruits.

A largely inexperienced U’s team battled hard, but were completely outplayed during Sunday’s 2-0 defeat at the hands of Coventry City.

And you fear another similar result, at Bradford City this Saturday, if the same XI are forced to take the field – Joe Dunne’s side are missing too many key players at the moment.

The defence will be stronger, that’s for sure. Magnus Okuonghae will return, after serving his one-match suspension at Sixfields, which will enable captain Brian Wilson to revert to his customary right-back role.

Back-up centre-half Josh Thompson is also set to be available, after an ankle injury, while Dunne is poised to sign a new left-back this week – the loan transfer window reopens today.

But it is up front where the U’s are dreadfully under-strength. Sanchez Watt and Freddie Sears, who add such quality to the team, remain troubled by injuries.

The longer Watt and Sears are on the sidelines, the tougher it will become for Colchester, though at least eight points have already been bagged from six games.

Most Read

Ex-Arsenal winger Watt, who can unlock any opposing defence, was a big miss against Coventry, and he looks set for a prolonged stay in the treatment room.

“I don’t think Sanchez will be available this weekend,” confirmed Dunne.

“He is troubled by his quad now. We will have to wait and see where he is with that injury.”

Striker Sears, who has already scored a couple of goals this season, has been hampered by a groin problem over the last few weeks.

Dunne continued: “As to whether Freddie will play (at Bradford), that’s down to Freddie.

“If he can play, he will play, but if he’s not right, then he won’t. It’s one of those injuries where we keep hearing that he can play on, but it’s got to be right.

“We missed our quality players (against Coventry), Freddie, Sanchez and Gavin (Massey). That’s three out of our front four.

“But we mustn’t feel sorry for ourselves. The players are a bit down at the moment, but I think we will bounce back.

“We will regroup on Tuesday. We should have Gavin back (after a hamstring injury) and we should have Daniel Pappoe back as well (from Chelsea after treatment).

“We will maybe even have one or two fresh faces coming in as well, which will then put us in a much stronger position for Bradford at the end of the week.”

With reference to left-back Ryan Dickson, who lasted just 19 minutes before being substituted against Coventry, due to an ongoing illness, Dunne said: “I don’t know what the situation is with Ryan.

“It’s aggravated me a little, because I had a chance of getting someone in before the (permanent) transfer window shut, going into one of the games when Ryan was unwell.

“I took him off because I was worried about him. He is not right.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter