Luca: My knee feels perfect

IPSWICH Town winger Luciano Civelli says his knee feels “perfect” after his latest return from injury continued with a 75 minute reserve team run-out against Colchester last night.

The Argentine, who has been out of first team action for 16 months following cruciate knee surgery, says the set-back he received to the same right knee in pre-season was just muscular.

And following his second reserve team outing in two weeks, the left-winger is now focusing on pushing for a first team return.

“I am not happy with my performance,” said Civelli, after his side’s 3-1 defeat in last night’s Combination Reserve League match in Maldon.

“I know I have got to do better with the ball and will have to work hard on my fitness, but the most important thing is my knee feels perfect.

“Of course I want to get back in the first team, but I’ve been out for a long time and may have to be patient a little longer.”

Last night also saw Town defender Damien Delaney play the full match in his second reserve team outing since suffering a blood clot injury in pre-season.

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Delaney, Civelli and Colin Healy aside, Town fielded a fairly young side, while seven of Colchester’s starting XI had significant League One experience or higher.

Keeper Ben Williams (ankle), summer signing Ben Coker (ankle) and Paul Reid (groin) continued their comebacks for the U’s, while club record signing Steven Gillespie made his first appearance since his pre-season ankle injury.

Colchester scored twice within a three-minute spell to take a firm grip on the game. In the 25th minute Tom Eastman missed a Tom Bender cross from the left to allow Lloyd James to bundle home from a yard out.

The lead was soon doubled when Paul Reid nodded Sam Corcoran’s right-sided corner back across goal for fellow centre-half and skipper Matt Heath to head home.

Ipswich had been second best in the first half, but they improved after the break and halved the deficit in the 51st minute when Coker turned the ball into his own net after Colin Healy had cut in from the right to shoot.

However, the U’s – who had little to deal with defensively throughout – restored their two-goal advantage in the 63rd minute when Kayode Odejayi turned home a low cross from the right.

Town left-back Seb Dunbar was lucky not to be sent off in this match after he shoved Gillespie in retaliation for a foul when already on a yellow card.

Ipswich tried both Eastman and Troy Brown at right-back, Conor Hourinhane played in a defensive midfield role, with Ronan Murray a lone striker.

Ipswich (4-1-4-1): Lee-Barrett; Brown, Dunbar (Clark 62), Eastman, Delaney; Lambe, Civelli (Lavary 75), Hourinhane, Healy, Griffiths (Cawley 46); Murray.

Colchester (4-4-1-1): Williams; Coker, Bender (Hamilton 72), Heath, Reid; Gillespie (Ladapo 64), Elito, Corcoran, James; Sanderson, Odejayi (Arnott 89).

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