‘He’s been just what we needed’ – skipper Lapslie on team-mate Inniss
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Ryan Inniss produced his best performance in a Colchester United shirt at Coventry on Saturday, and perhaps one of the best defensive displays seen by a U’s centre-half in a few years.
The excellent Inniss, flanked by Tom Eastman and Frankie Kent in a three-man back-line, helped to keep a clean-sheet in a 0-0 draw at the Ricoh Arena as a on-nonsense sweeper.
His skipper, Tom Lapslie, who was sent off for two bookable offences on 76 minutes in that game, certainly appreciated the role played by Inniss in extending the U’s unbeaten away run to four games.
Colchester fans, meanwhile, will be hoping that centre-back Inniss has his stay at the Community Stadium extended beyond this season. The 22-year-old is currently on loan for the campaign from Crystal Palace.
“Ryan (Inniss) has been great since he’s come in,” enthused captain Lapslie.
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“He’s been just what we needed really. He’s a tough tackling defender, a bit of a hard man.
“He gets the boys up for it, and he doesn’t mind if you give him a little bit as well. He’s kept me in check.
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“At Cheltenham (3-1 defeat last month), Ryan tried to bring a ball down and tried to do a little flick, and he said to me afterwards – I didn’t want to say too much to him because I think he is at least a foot taller than me – that ‘if I do that again, then just grill me and keep me in check.’
“I rate that from him, we keep each other in check,” added Lapslie, who is set to miss this Saturday’s home match against Crewe due to suspension.
Inniss is currently at his seventh different loan club, following on from short spells at Cheltenham, Luton, Gillingham, Yeovil, Port Vale and Southend.
Saturday was his ninth league appearance for the U’s, having recently returned to action from a niggling hamstring injury.
Despite his red card at the Ricoh, Lapslie was delighted with the way that his side have played on the road recently, especially from last week’s four-point haul from Newport County (2-1 win) and Coventry.
“It was a great week for us, coming on from Newport,” said Lapslie.
“The boys were excellent last Tuesday, and it was the same again over the weekend.”