Duguid’s time will come

KARL Duguid has yet to feature in Colchester United’s final 16-man squad for a league game this season, but his time will come.

KARL Duguid has yet to feature in Colchester United’s final 16-man squad for a league game this season, but his time will come.

Former U’s skipper Duguid will never be dubbed “the forgotten man” at the Weston Homes Community Stadium – you can’t forget a player who has rattled more than 400 appearances and spent a combined total of more than 15 years at the club.

And although he is yet to feature in a competitive game for the U’s since his return to the club this summer after a three-year stint at Plymouth, Duguid is still making his presence felt in the dressing room.

Manager John Ward has been delighted with the impact that club stalwart Duguid has had on the rest of the squad. The 33-year-old’s experience alone is proving invaluable, and it shouldn’t be too long before he is gracing the pitch in a blue-and-white shirt again.

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“Karl has been in every squad, but has just not had the shirt,” explained Ward yesterday.

“I like Karl, he’s been around the team for every game that we have had. I’ve put him on the squad-sheet each time, if not the team-sheet.

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“He’s there in the dressing room with his suit on, encouraging, cajoling, sympathising, whatever is required, and always pushing people.

“I think that’s the sign of a really good professional person.”

Duguid’s only inclusion in the first team squad to date was as part of the 18-man squad at Wycombe in the Carling Cup. He was an unused substitute that evening. But his 554th career appearance is surely just around the corner.

Even if he is not involved in Saturday’s home game against Oldham, there must be a good chance that he will return to the fold for the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy fixture against visiting Barnet next Tuesday evening.

Ward continued: “Karl is fine. I like him around the place, and he’s enjoying what he is doing.

“Obviously he’d enjoy it more if he was in the team, I understand that, but he’s pleased to be around the place. He’s playing a big part, whether that’s publically seen or not.

“His time will come, he understands that.

“He came here with just an inclination to try to get fit and see if he could find a club. And he found a club here, which he didn’t expect at the outset.”

Meanwhile, the U’s boss revealed that loanee winger Michail Antonio and defender Magnus Okuonghae, who both hobbled off with ankle knocks during last weekend’s defeat at Huddersfield, had both returned to training and would be in the squad to face Oldham.

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