'Flash' Hendrie gets taken to cleaners

LEE Hendrie might drive a Ferrari but Kem Izzet had the last laugh at Layer Road on Saturday!And now Colchester United's midfield gem is hoping to plot the downfall of fellow high-fliers Preston in next weekend's pre-Christmas Championship showdown.

By Carl Marston

LEE Hendrie might drive a Ferrari but Kem Izzet had the last laugh at Layer Road on Saturday!

And now Colchester United's midfield gem is hoping to plot the downfall of fellow high-fliers Preston in next weekend's pre-Christmas Championship showdown.

Izzet and Hendrie had a little altercation in the tunnel as they returned to the dressing rooms at half-time last weekend. Izzet went on to inspire the U's to a 3-0 victory over visiting Stoke City.

Former England midfielder Hendrie, who is on loan at Stoke from Aston Villa, had an afternoon to forget at Layer Road. He missed a couple of gilt-edged chances in the first-half, which left him frustrated.

“Hendrie asked me whether I wanted to come around and wash his Ferrari!” revealed Izzet.

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“I told him to give me a sponge, then I'd clean it for him. I hope his Ferrari is a red one, otherwise I wouldn't be interested.

“I don't think Hendrie helps himself sometimes. He should concentrate on his game. He sometimes gets caught in the moment. That's why he is where he is at the moment.

“There was no real problem in the tunnel. He was just being a bit patronising towards me. It was all talk. I just tugged his hair a little,” added Izzet.

Hendrie has played more than 300 senior games for Villa, but the 29-year-old has slightly lost his way as a Premiership player over the last couple of seasons.

Even so, he had been a key figure in Stoke's dramatic rise up the Championship table, from the relegation zone into fifth position before last Saturday's Layer Road clash.

The Potters excellent recent run of six wins and a draw in their previous seven matches was ended by plucky Colchester, who leapfrogged their opponents in the table thanks to a first-half brace from Jamie Cureton and a header from Richard Garcia just after the hour mark.

At first, it appeared as though Izzet had applied the final touch to Garcia's goalbound header but he admitted that it was the Australian's goal.

“It wasn't my goal. I didn't touch it. The ball was already in when I collided with Michael Duberry,” confirmed Izzet.

“That's 13 points out of the last 15 for us, and we want to keep it up now. We've been terrific at home, but not so good away from home, which is something we want to change.

“When we came into this league, we just wanted to achieve safety and make sure that we stayed in the division. But we are confident of giving anyone a hard game.

“We want to see how many games we can win, and we'll be looking to do just that at Preston.

“I don't think teams are just having a problem with playing at Layer Road. It's the fact that many of them are underestimating Colchester United.

“They look at our team and dismiss us just because we haven't got any stars,” added Izzet.

Colchester United Youths drew 2-2 with QPR in a top-of-the-table clash on Saturday. Tom Devaux and Aarun Best both scored to put the U's 2-0 up, only for Rangers to reply with two goals in the last quarter of the match.

The U's home match against Luton Town on Boxing Day is now a complete sell-out.

Youth team striker Fabian Quintyn scored both goals in Colchester reserves' 2-2 draw at home to Stevenage yesterday afternoon. Former U's striker Tony Thorpe scored one of the Stevenage goals.

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