Few new faces required for fixture logjam, says Ward

COLCHESTER United manager John Ward won’t be making too many forays into the transfer market next month – despite a huge fixture backlog for the New Year.

The U’s scheduled Boxing Day game at Peterborough was postponed on Christmas Eve morning due to a frozen pitch at London Road.

Altogether it means the Essex club have had three games postponed in December so far, while volunteers have been called upon today to try and ensure tomorrow’s League One home match against Oldham beats the weather.

With Colchester still in the FA Cup it means the club are in for a busy start to 2011. Already there are seven games arranged for January, six more in February, with trips to Bristol Rovers and Peterborough still to be rearranged.

Despite this, U’s boss Ward says he is unlikely to do much business in the January transfer window.

He said: “I’m not looking to be that busy myself – there might be one or two in and one or two out, but certainly no more than that.

“I spoke to a manager some years ago who was in a similar position to us. He was pushing for the top six like we are and he brought in five new faces and it caused a disruption rather than a help to him.

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“Sometimes you can do that you know. I’ve got a very close knit squad here and I need to keep that group together as much as I can.

“If I do add to it they will have to be not just the right player, but the right person too.

“I can mess this up just as easily as a player – probably more so – and I don’t want to do that. You can wreck everything in one decision and I’ve got to try not to do that.”

One player Ward does want to keep is striker David Mooney, who will see his loan from Championship club Reading expire at the start of the New Year.

Ward said: “I’ve spoken to Brian McDermott (Reading manager) and it was kind of left up in the air; yes he might take him back, no he might not.

“I’ve expressed my interest to Brian that I would like to keep David here so I’ve got to give him another call to see where we sit with that.

“When I’ve spoken to David he’s said he’d be happy to stay around here, but his future is in someone else’s hands not necessarily his at the moment.

“He’s moved across with his family, he’s got a young child and I had a lovely chat with him and it seems his family are very happy living in this part of the world.

“It just seems a very steady ship here at the moment and if I can keep it together I’d be very keen to do that and that includes David.

“I said before about potential new players having to be the ‘right person’, well David Mooney is the right person. His personality is very much a part of this group of people, as well as his footballing ability.”

The U’s boss also has a decision to make on left-back Tom Williams, whose loan spell in Essex is also set to expire in the New Year. The 30-year-old will be a free agent by then as his contract at parent club Bristol City is also coming to an end,

One new player who could potentially be arriving at The Weston Homes Community Stadium is Icelandic international midfielder Matthias Vilhj�lmsson who could join on loan while his home country club, Fimleikaf�lag Hafnarfjar�ar (FH), are in their close season.

“We’re still looking into that,” said Ward. “But it’s awkward because it’s an international loan and there are slightly different variations on transfer windows when you go outside the country so it’s taken quite a while.”

– Colchester United are calling upon volunteers to help clear any remaining snow from The Weston Homes Community Stadium pitch and surrounding areas today ahead of tomorrow’s game against Oldham (3pm).

Those willing to help should report to the ground from 9am today, bringing shovels and wheelbarrows if possible, and ask for groundman Dave Blacknall.

For full match preview of the League One match, see tomorrow’s EADT.

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