Friendship suspended for tonight

DRINKING buddies, neighbours and occasional golf partners Jim Magilton and Geraint 'George' Williams will be keen adversaries at Portman Road tonight.The Blues boss has nothing but respect for the job his former Town team-mate Williams has done as boss at Layer Road and is expecting no favours from his old mate tonight.

By Derek Davis

DRINKING buddies, neighbours and occasional golf partners Jim Magilton and Geraint 'George' Williams will be keen adversaries at Portman Road tonight.

The Blues boss has nothing but respect for the job his former Town team-mate Williams has done as boss at Layer Road and is expecting no favours from his old mate tonight.

Magilton said: “Colchester will give us nothing.

“George has done a great job after losing the core of a team that did so well for him last year.

“To lose so many influential players was a big blow but he has built a new side.

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“His players have shown they are more than adequate to play at this level and they are again a real tough side.”

The U's lost top scorers Jamie Cureton and Chris Iwelumo, along with talismanic defender Wayne Brown in a summer of change while his assistant Mick Harford went to QPR.

But an unfazed Williams brought in Micky Adams as his No. 2 and strengthened the side with Kevin Lisbie and Clive Platt up front.

But while it was the shock signing of Teddy Sheringham that was the highest profile arrival, Tottenham midfielder Mark Yeates has so far been the most effective addition.

His seven goals this season, mainly from set-pieces, have helped the U's to a respectable 13th place in the table, including a 3-2 win over promotion candidates West Brom on Saturday.

Magilton is well aware of the danger free kick specialist Yeates brings and has handed a warning to his players.

He said: “Mark Yeates is a real threat and we will have to be very careful about giving away needless free kicks because he will punish you.”

Magilton, a cultured midfielder in his day, is relishing the opportunity to see an old master in action.

He said: “Getting Teddy was a major coup for George and for the club. Teddy is a top class player and I hope he comes on.

“He is someone I have always respected and it is a fantastic achievement to still be playing at his age.

“I will enjoy watching him and as long as he doesn't hurt us will be delighted if he plays.”

The U's have enjoyed mixed fortunes away from home this season, winning and losing one but drawing three.

They are not expected to be too adventurous tonight to prevent the Blues from extending their perfect home record.

This is a night when all friendship is suspended.

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