Gillespie is a major doubt for U's

STEVEN Gillespie is a major doubt for Colchester United's League One opener at Norwich on Saturday after he limped off in the second half of the U's final pre-season friendly.

STEVEN Gillespie is a major doubt for Colchester United's League One opener at Norwich on Saturday after he limped off in the second half of the U's final pre-season friendly.

However, U's boss Paul Lambert admitted that he could sign a replacement for the striker as early as today.

Gillespie has only just returned to the side following the latest in a long list of injury woes, but was forced to leave the field 56 minutes into Colchester's 1-1 draw at Blue Square Premier side Rushden & Diamonds on Saturday.

The 24-year-old club record signing was subject to one or two heavy challenges before the break and a feisty encounter threatened to boil over early in the second period before Gillespie left the field.


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U's boss Paul Lambert said: “We are not sure if it is his hamstring or not yet, but it looks like the same problem as in Germany.

“It is a worry as he is just back from injury, but we will see how he is on Monday.”

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Lambert has admitted throughout the summer that he wants to beef up his attack further following the addition of French forward Joel Thomas and revealed that a new addition could arrive at the Community Stadium today.

He said: “As far as new players are concerned, we are still trying to bring in players and we are hoping to have an answer by Monday.”

A full strength Colchester side had fallen behind to Rushden & Diamonds courtesy of a powerful 32nd minute James Reid effort.

However, they earned share of the spoils through a deflected Ashley Vincent goal just before the break.

Anthony Wordsworth almost won it for the U's right at the death for the second time in a week when he was put through by Kem Izzet, but the home keeper smothered his shot well.

U's new boy Magnus Okuonghae started at centre-half against one of his former clubs, while former Ipswich Town youngster Kurt Robinson played for the hosts.

New signings David Fox and Joel Thomas were left on the bench, but Lambert suggested there will be changes for this weekend's league opener at Carrow Road.

He said: “There is nothing that should be read into Saturday's side. My team is not the one that started today and we'll be working hard all week to be ready for Norwich.”

Teams

Rushden & Diamonds: Roberts, Osano (Croft 82), Robinson, Porter (Byrne 46), Stuart, Corcoran, Wolleaston (McNamara 82), Tomlin (Pattison 75), O'Connor (Smith 46), Akurang (Farrell 57), Reid (Cousins 64). Unused Sub: Day.

Colchester: Willaims, Tierney (Maybury 56), Baldwin, Okuonghae, Beevers, Hackney (Fox 56), Hammond, Perkins, Vincent, (Izzet 56), Vernon (Thomas 70), Gillepsie (Platt 56). Unused Subs: Cousins, Corcoran, Malton.

Attendance: 505.

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