Danny makes a name for himself as winger
AGAINST the odds, Danny Granville has carved out a niche for himself as a winger rather than a defender at Colchester United.Granville has had to bide his time since his summer move from Crystal Palace.
By Carl Marston
AGAINST the odds, Danny Granville has carved out a niche for himself as a winger rather than a defender at Colchester United.
Granville has had to bide his time since his summer move from Crystal Palace. Recruited as a natural replacement for Chris Barker at left-back, the 33-year-old found himself sitting on the bench for the first eight league games of the season.
The door was firmly shut, due to George Elokobi's strong performances on the left side of defence, but Granville has persevered and re-invented himself as a left winger. He is set to fill that role again at Ipswich Town tonight.
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“Ipswich are strong at home, but we are flying at the moment,” insisted Granville following the U's 3-2 win over West Brom on Saturday. “We have a great team spirit, and that shows with the way that we have come back in several games, after falling behind. The one disappointment is that we aren't keeping many clean-sheets (just one in 12 league and cup fixtures).
“I'm enjoying playing on the left wing. It's not completely new to me, because I played there many seasons ago when I was at Cambridge United. I'm just glad to be in the side, after a frustrating start to the season. I was struggling for fitness at the time.
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“It's looking good for the club now. The squad is looking stronger, with players like Teddy (Sheringham) and Kevin (Watson) on the way back after their injuries. There was a lot more experience on the bench on Saturday,” added Granville.
Sheringham had missed the previous five weeks with a hamstring injury, until his return as a 75th minute substitute against the Baggies. He looks set to play a part in tonight's test at Portman Road.
Midfielder Watson was named in the 16-man squad against West Brom for the first time this season, following a long struggle against Achilles tendon and calf problems. The 33-year-old is now waiting to make his first appearance of the season.
Skipper Karl Duguid, who scored against Ipswich both home and away last term, failed to shrug off an ankle injury incurred during the 2-1 defeat at Stoke, although he is set to undergo a fitness test this evening.
There is also a doubt surrounding Adam Virgo, who limped off in the second-half on Saturday. Matthew Connolly could therefore start his first game for more than a month. Granville, meanwhile, has not scored many goals during his long career, although he was agonisingly close to netting his first in a U's shirt against West Brom.
“Yeatsey delivered a great cross to the far post, and Jacko (Jackson) and I got in each other's way a bit. Jacko ended up blocking my effort!” rued Granville.
Kevin McLeod's bout of flu enabled Granville to break into the starting line-up at the start of the month. He made his full debut in the 4-2 home win over QPR, and has retained his place for the games against Stoke and West Brom, even though McLeod has since returned to full fitness.
You could get long odds on Granville adding to his career tally of 21 goals tonight, but don't be surprised if he sets up a goal for one of his team-mates. The ex-Cambridge, Chelsea and Crystal Palace man, who has also commanded big money moves to Leeds (£1.6million) and Manchester City (£1m) in his career, delivered a pinpoint cross for Clive Platt to head home at Stoke in the U's last away game.
Most of the attention will be focused on man-of-the-moment Mark Yeates on the right flank, but Town can't afford to ignore Granville on the left. Otherwise they could be made to pay.