Duguid wants to see Parkinson return

BRING back Phil Parkinson.That is the opinion of former Colchester United stalwart Karl Duguid.

Carl Marston

BRING back Phil Parkinson.

That is the opinion of former Colchester United stalwart Karl Duguid.

Ex-U's skipper Duguid, who played more than 400 games for the club, believes that Parkinson would be an ideal choice to take over from Geraint Williams, and would be a big hit with the fans.


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Parkinson made history when guiding the U's to automatic promotion into the Championship in 2005-06, although he then angered the club and fans alike by resigning to take over at Hull City just a month or so later.

However, Duguid thinks that all will be forgiven if Parkinson, who is now the assistant manager at Charlton Athletic, is coaxed back to the U's.

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The odds are against it - Parkinson himself signed a new deal at The Valley last season to keep him at The Valley until 2010, and the hierarchy at Colchester might not want to open up old wounds. But Duguid would love to see Parkinson back at his old club.

“I would like Robbie Cowling (chairman) to do a Mike Ashley and bring the hero back,” insisted Duguid, with reference to Newcastle owner Ashley's move to appoint former favourite Kevin Keegan as Magpies boss last January. Keegan has since resigned from his post.

Duguid continued: “Phil Parkinson would be the No. 1 name on most Colchester fans' lips. I reckon the fans would love it.

“I know that Phil left under a bit of a cloud, but Colchester United is a different place now. When he first came, there was no money, an old stadium and no training ground.

“But now there's a brand new stadium, an ambitious young chairman and the promise of a new training ground. Being the manager of Colchester United is a very attractive club now,” added Duguid.

Although Duguid left the U's over the summer, to join Championship club Plymouth Argyle, the 30-year-old still feels a close affinity with the U's, and especially outgoing manager Geraint Williams.

Duguid came up through the youth ranks at Layer Road and was an established first-teamer when Williams first arrived as a player from Ipswich Town in 1998.

“I'm gutted for George (Geraint) Williams. It's never nice when a manager loses his job,” admitted Duguid.

“I worked very closely with George over the years. I firstly played in the same team as him, and he was then asked to take charge of a few reserve games under Phil Parkinson.

“George worked his way up and he will go down in history as the manager who got the club to their highest ever league position (10th in the Championship in 2006-07).

“Phil Parkinson was the man who got the team promoted, and is therefore regarded by many fans as the club's best ever manager, but George was the coach at that time, so he must be the best coach.

“Unfortunately, after a great first season as manager, George's hands were then tied in his second season. He lost nearly all his players and did not really replace them at the time.

“Since then Robbie Cowling has pumped in a lot of money, and is backing the club as much as possible. George brought in a lot of players this summer, and it's not quite worked for him, or at least not quickly enough.

“Six games into a new season isn't long, but that's football these days. Managers don't get very long.

“The chairman has put his money in, and he's a businessman. In fact looking at the team the previous weekend, there was more than £1m on the Colchester bench!” added Duguid.

Four of the U's five substitutes at Crewe had commanded fees of £250,000 or more - Steven Gillespie (£400,000), Chris Coyne (£350,000), Dean Hammond (£250,000) and David Perkins (undisclosed).

Meanwhile, Duguid has been enjoying life at Plymouth. The Devon club failed to win any of their first five league games, but have recently claimed back-to-back 2-1 away wins at Watford and Crystal Palace.

Duguid started the campaign in his familiar right-back role, but has recently been pushed into central midfield.

“I hardly ever played central midfield while at Colchester, but the manager (Paul Sturrock) made seven changes before the Watford game and it must have worked because we won and I scored!” said Duguid.

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