Garcia says U's proved a point

RICHARD Garcia will go down in Colchester United folklore, after becoming the first player to score a goal for the club in the Championship.But the shine was taken off Garcia's big day by Birmingham City substitute Nicklas Bendtner, who rifled home a late winner for the Blues in a 2-1 success at St Andrews on Saturday.

By Carl Marston

RICHARD Garcia will go down in Colchester United folklore, after becoming the first player to score a goal for the club in the Championship.

But the shine was taken off Garcia's big day by Birmingham City substitute Nicklas Bendtner, who rifled home a late winner for the Blues in a 2-1 success at St Andrews on Saturday.

“We are very, very disappointed. We're kicking ourselves that we lost this game,” admitted Garcia, who had drilled home a 51st-minute equaliser for the visitors.

“At least we have shown people today that we are good enough to be in this league. We are not just poor old Colchester. I think we are going to surprise a few people this season.

“We had a good chance to get a result. I thought we played well in patches, but the difference between the two teams was in the penalty areas. We conceded two silly goals.

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“When Birmingham went down to 10 men (Cameron Jerome was sent off in the 70th minute), we had the belief that we could go on and win the match.

“That's what we had set out to do, to get all three points. In the end it didn't work out, but Birmingham City are favourites for promotion, and we could have beaten them today. That bodes well,” added Garcia.

The 24-year-old Australian, who played up front alongside Jamie Cureton, sent the U's fans into raptures by lashing home a first-time shot past Blues keeper Maik Taylor to chalk up the club's first ever goal in the second tier of the Football League.

“The ball rolled nicely for me. It came off Jamie's toe-poke and I just hit it,” revealed Garcia.

It was his 15th goal in an injury-troubled two seasons since his move from West Ham.

“I've had a good pre-season for a change. I'm feeling a lot fitter, and I'm looking forward to playing a lot of football in the Championship.

“The first game of any season is always difficult. It's a time to blow away the cobwebs.

“I thought we performed well, and we want to keep that going, though with better results.

“I don't think there's any difference in the pace of the game, between League One and the Championship. But there aren't as many rash challenges in this division. People don't dive in so much, and there's more football played.

“I reckon that we are going to surprise a few people with what we can do this year.

“Now we want to get off to winning ways at home to Plymouth on Tuesday,” concluded Garcia.

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