Heath looks to outfox his former Foxes

MATT Heath defied the odds to shake off a calf injury and earn a surprise recall against Ipswich, and he responded by helping Colchester United to a rare clean-sheet and a rare home win.

Carl Marston

MATT Heath defied the odds to shake off a calf injury and earn a surprise recall against Ipswich, and he responded by helping Colchester United to a rare clean-sheet and a rare home win.

Leeds United loanee Heath initially feared that he might be going back to Elland Road, after injuring his calf during the U's 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Hull City three weeks ago.

But now the 26-year-old is looking forward to playing against his former club Leicester City next weekend, before his initial loan deal expires.


You may also want to watch:


“I came back quicker than expected, especially as I was fearing the worst,” explained Heath, who starred alongside Chris Coyne in the 2-0 defeat of Town.

“I had been at the club all week, receiving treatment. In fact, I haven't had any contact with Leeds since I left on this loan deal.

Most Read

“The calf was gradually getting stronger, but I was still only 50-50 at the beginning of the week. I managed to do a bit with the physio (Tony Flynn), and finally trained with the lads on Friday.

“That's when I knew that I'd be fit. I had no qualms about playing, because I haven't had that many games recently. I was desperate to play,” added Heath.

Leicester-born Heath played 61 appearances for his home town club, before switching to Coventry in a £200,000 deal during the summer of 2005. He moved on to Leeds towards the end of 2006, but has rather lost his way during Gary McAllister's new regime at Elland Road.

Naturally, the 6ft 4ins centre-half is looking forward to a return to the Walkers Stadium next weekend, by which the time the U's will be still hoping that they have a mathematical chance of beating the drop. But Heath is looking a bit further ahead as well.

“My month's loan spell expires after next weekend,” confirmed Heath.

“I don't know what will happen after that. There are still three games left after next Saturday, and I'd obviously like to be involved.

“I enjoyed playing alongside Coyney (Chris Coyne). He's a chatterbox and a defender with a terrific amount of experience. I thought we defended well, even though Ipswich had a lot of possession. We worked so hard to get that clean-sheet.

“It wasn't like we playing against a team who were just happy to be in mid-table. Ipswich are going for the play-offs.

“I felt a bit ring-rusty, because I just haven't had that many games this year. I want to get fitter,” added Heath.

The return of Heath helped to soften the blow of losing fellow centre-half Pat Baldwin to a dislocated shoulder during the previous weekend's 4-3 defeat at West Brom. Baldwin requires an operation and is set to be out of action for six months.

Meanwhile, the U's will be hoping that Sheffield United do them a favour this evening, by beating rivals Sheffield Wednesday at Bramall Lane. If the Owls fail to win, then at least Geraint Williams' men will still have a mathematical chance of avoiding relegation, going into the Leicester game on Saturday.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter