Holt confident as U's look forward

AS a serving soldier Gary Holt had no problem combining duties.

By Derek Davis

AS a serving soldier Gary Holt had no problem combining duties.

As well as cooking up dishes for the squaddies, Holt was also a regular in the British Army team and did so well he was taken on by Celtic.

Colchester United's latest signing is ready for another dual role as player and coach and has tipped the U's to be serious promotion contenders this season.

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After going on as a 79th minute substitute in the U's 2-0 loss at Ipswich, Holt saw enough to convince him the club is going in the right direction.

He said: “You can never tell in pre-season but I would say the chances are good. With the work the boys have done and the way they have grasped what the gaffer (Paul Lambert) wants certainly helps.

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“To play very well against Villa on Tuesday and then to come here against Ipswich, another good opposition, and not be outclassed or disgraced in any way is good.

“If anything if we had taken our chances in the first half it would have been a different scoreline.

“In my eyes their first goal came from a foul but you have to get on with that.”

Holt believes the nature of the game meant fans didn't get a true flavour of the side's capabilities.

He said: “There were a lot of substitutions and that can make it difficult.

When you are chopping and changing it can affect things. Although the boys did the best they can when things

“There were a lot of pleasing things that the gaffer has been working on that paid off.

“Until we made changes we were doing very well.

“We could have been a couple of goals up in the first half especially.”

At 36 Holt is sure he is fit enough and has the ability to be able to step in whenever required and is keen to keep on playing.

He said: “I don't get a choice in the matter. I'm here fit and able and I will be used when and where I'm needed.

“If I'm not needed to play then I will help on the coaching side and prepare the lads the best I can.”

Although he didn't make a first team debut at Celtic Park he progressed to Stoke City for a short while before returning to Scotland and playing for Kilmarnock. Holt signed for Norwich City and then Nottingham Forest before joining Lambert at Wycombe and now Colchester.

Surprisingly for an ex soldier he had never been stationed at the garrison town but has an affection for East Anglia,

He said: “I was never based in Colchester. I had a couple of friends in the Glasshouse here but I avoided that one. It was not a place I wanted to visit.

“I still live in Norfolk and I love East Anglia. It is a lovely area and the facilities at Colchester are superb so that is something players can enjoy every day.”

Holt will soon have a reunion to look forward to as the U's visit Norwich on the opening day of the League One season.


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