Duguid signs new deal

KARL Duguid has become the latest Colchester United player to pledge his long-term allegiance to the Essex club by signing a new contract yesterday.

By Carl Marston

KARL Duguid has become the latest Colchester United player to pledge his long-term allegiance to the Essex club by signing a new contract yesterday.

Right-back Duguid has put 18 months of anguish behind him this season by bouncing back from a career-threatening knee injury.

The 27-year-old club captain, after a lengthy stint on the bench, has been a regular in the U's starting line-up for the last six weeks.

He has played a key role in helping the U's to climb to top spot in League One, as well as making relentless progress in both the FA Cup and LDV Vans Trophy.

Duguid put pen to paper yesterday, following in the footsteps of young team-mates John White, George Elokobi and Garry Richards, who have all signed new deals in recent weeks.

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“Touch wood, my injury problems are behind me, and it's a real bonus to sign a new contract,” explained Duguid.

“I have put 18 months of bad luck behind me, and now we're all looking as a team to win as many of our final 16 league games as possible.

“A lot of the lads' contracts are up at the end of the season, so the manager (Phil Parkinson) has been trying to sort out several of them early.

“It's important to do that, with the team doing so well. We all want to do well for Colchester United, and we'd love to keep going and win promotion to the Championship. It's certainly a possibility,” confirmed Duguid.

The U's overhauled Essex rivals Southend United to move into top spot on Tuesday night, thanks to Chris Iwelumo's headed goal in a 1-0 win over visiting Scunthorpe.

Parkinson's men were not on top form in this nerve-racking tussle, but they kept the Iron at bay to record their 10th straight victory, which is a club record, as well as notching their 20th win from their last 22 matches.

Duguid continued: “It was very difficult last night (Tuesday night). Scunthorpe were strong, but we dug deep.

“Teams are coming to Layer Road and making it difficult for ourselves. Yet we can cope with all kinds of ways of playing. It's nice to be on top of the league at any time of the season, but there's still a long way to go.

“We have a very tough game at Huddersfield on Saturday, because they are currently in the play-offs and also looking to get to the top. The fact that it's away from home will make it that bit harder.

“There are a lot of games coming up, but I don't mind about that. It's what we're paid to do, so we might as well play matches. We'd only be training otherwise,” added Duguid.

The versatile Duguid, who is the U's longest-serving player, damaged medial knee ligaments in March, 2004, and had to cope with a number of setbacks before making his return to the side at the start of this term. He missed the whole of the 2004-05 campaign.

He has played 336 senior games for the U's, since turning professional during the summer of 1996.


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