Ian Henderson poised to become a century maker

IAN Henderson has been one of the first names on the Colchester United team-sheet, since his arrival in early 2010.

But the U’s stalwart was dropped for last weekend’s dismal 4-0 defeat at Tranmere, during which he clocked up his 99th league game for the Essex club as a second-half substitute.

It was not the way that Henderson would have chosen to inch to within one of his century of league games for the U’s – he will hope to celebrate that landmark in happier circumstances at Brentford this afternoon.

But in hindsight, the 27-year-old will probably be relieved not to have been on the pitch for most of the Prenton Park flop – he was introduced when the U’s were already trailing 3-0.

Certainly, Henderson respected manager John Ward’s decision to drop him, although he is hoping for a swift recall at Brentford.

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“Of course I was disappointed not to start at Tranmere, as I always am when I’m not playing,” admitted Henderson.

“But the manager makes the decision, and he thought it best for the team if I was not in the side. I’m a team player, and I respect that.

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“I suppose the damage had already been done, by the time that I came on.

“It’s difficult to come back from 3-0 down. We were having to go forward, and that left holes at the back, which they exploited on the counter-attack.

“There have been a few bad defeats like that, since the manager’s been in charge, but you can count them on the fingers of one hand. We have usually come back strongly,” added Henderson.

The U’s have had a whole week to stew on last weekend’s defeat, in the build-up to today’s trip to Griffin Park, because they were handed a bye in the first round of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.

However, players usually want a quick return to action, after a sub-standard performance, and Henderson is no exception.

“There will be places up for grabs, that’s for sure,” said Henderson.

“A defeat like that can damage confidence, but we have got straight back on the training ground this week, and we are looking for a massive response.

“I think we need to start on the front foot against Brentford, and play at a high tempo.

“And we must remember that the Tranmere experience was just one game in a long season. We shouldn’t dwell on it.

“If you look across the board, there have been several strange results already, in all divisions. Liverpool are near the bottom and Manchester United have already lost a game.

“I think our league (League One) is going to be very open this season, with no one running away with it.

“Tranmere and Yeovil have started very well, but there are some big teams in this league, and we don’t want to be down there for too long.”

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