Jabo Ibehre fit enough to return to Colchester United squad

Jabo Ibehre, back in the U's squad

Jabo Ibehre, back in the U's squad

Colchester United boss Joe Dunne is again sweating on the fitness of target man Jabo Ibehre, although the 31-year-old WILL make the trip to Crawley Town.

Front-man Ibehre, the U’s leading marksman with seven goals, has missed the last two matches due to soreness around the pelvic and hamstring area.

Clinton Morrison has been deputising in Ibehre’s absence, but it is a big ask for the 34-year-old to play two or three games a week, even though he has led the front-line with such high energy and endeavour.

Ibehre was put through his paces in a training session on Thursday, at Florence Park, and is fit enough to rejoin his team-mates for the big test in Sussex.

“The plan is to try and get Jabo (Ibehre) back onto a football pitch,” insisted Dunne yesterday.

“We have had him out on the training pitch, but we’ll have to wait and see how he reacts.

“If we can’t get Jabo back, then it will be a challenge to bring someone else (new player) in, because it is harder this year.

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“Most of the clubs’ under-21 teams seem to want to keep hold of their players, for whatever reason.

“There’s a lot of players we have kind of targeted over the last few weeks, who are now playing for different clubs, because at the time we had a full complement of players to pick from.

“So it’s not easy. I asked a Premier League club about one of their young players only yesterday, but they feel it might be slightly too early. Again, he’s a young one.

“But Macauley Bonne led the front-line pretty well when he came on, because Clinton is putting in some good shifts for us at the moment.

“Clinton’s attitude is such that he would even play centre-back, if we asked him to, in the team, His kind of character gets him through, and he’s a fantastic example to the younger players.

“He’s been used to scoring goals throughout his career, and he’s not scoring now, which is the first time that has happened. But he doesn’t shirk the work-rate.

“Clinton is frustrated because he hasn’t scored, but you can’t fault his work-rate in leading the front-line by himself,” added Dunne.

Meanwhile, Colchester United under-21 development player Nnamdi Nwachuku has signed on a youth loan to Ryman League Premier Division side Bury Town.