Freddie Sears sets his sights on leading the Colchester United goal-charts again
- Credit: Archant
Freddie Sears is ready to put all his injury woes behind him, and help propel Colchester United into the top half of the table.
Key marksman Sears has endured his share of knocks, since beginning the season with a bang by scoring four goals in his first 10 games.
In fact, the ex-West Ham striker has only played 28 minutes of competitive action for the best part of three months.
Having hobbled off with a hamstring injury, after just half-an-hour of the 1-1 draw at Shrewsbury on October 22, Sears’ first attempt at a comeback was aborted after only the first quarter of the U’s 1-1 draw at Preston in mid-November.
Sears cut a disconsolate figure, as he limped off the pitch at Deepdale, resigned to another long struggle to regain match fitness.
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But he finally returned, as an unused substitute in the U’s last outing – a gritty goalless draw at MK Dons on New Year’s Day – and is now poised for a long awaited run-out against visiting Gillingham this afternoon.
And he has a quickfire target in his sights – overhauling Jabo Ibehre’s six goals to be re-installed as the U’s leading scorer.
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“It’s good for Jabo (Ibehre). When you are out, it’s nice to see other boys doing well,” explained Sears.
“Jabo and Clint (Morrison) have done well, but it’s frustrating for me because I’m sure there might have been a couple of goals in these games for me.
“Now I’m looking to kick on. I want to get back on the pitch, and back to scoring goals as quickly as possible.
“I’m feeling good, after what has been a frustrating period for me.
“It’s one of the longest times I have ever been out, and it’s probably more frustrating that I have come back once already, only for it to happen again.
“I’ve just been working hard with the fitness coach, and the physio.
“I felt really good before the Preston game as well, but maybe it just wasn’t 100% ready and I rushed it a little.
“I have got to put that to one side, and not think about it. Hamstring is a funny injury – you might have no pain there, but you don’t know until you’re in a full sprint.
“At Preston, it was not even a run but just a little turn that saw the hamstring go again,” added Sears.
The U’s squad is certainly looking a lot stronger, with the recent return of winger Sanchez Watt and also the imminent return of Sears.
Watt started his first game for more than four months, in the draw at MK Dons, and is set to retain his place against Gillingham, while fellow winger Gavin Massey is only a couple of weeks away from a return to action after his own hamstring injury.
Sears will probably be on the bench against the Gills, although he is ready to start if called upon.
“I’ve trained the last two weeks and have been feeling really strong,” continued Sears.
“I think I am ready to start, but I’m ready either way, whether I am on the bench or starting.
“I was playing well early on, and scored a couple of goals to get my season up and running. In fact, I was probably in the best form I’d been in for a long time. But hopefully, the rest will have helped me.”