Jackson returns to training

COLCHESTER United midfielder Johnnie Jackson returned to training yesterday, after a three-week absence with a groin problem.Summer signing Jackson, recruited from Tottenham, started the U's first three games of the season, although he limped off early in the second half of the 2-1 home defeat by Barnsley.

By Carl Marston

COLCHESTER United midfielder Johnnie Jackson returned to training yesterday, after a three-week absence with a groin problem.

Summer signing Jackson, recruited from Tottenham, started the U's first three games of the season, although he limped off early in the second half of the 2-1 home defeat by Barnsley.

The U's resume their Championship campaign at Burnley on Saturday, after enjoying a free Saturday last weekend, due to the international fixtures.


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Manager Geraint Williams revealed last night: “Johnnie (Jackson) has done some aerobic work with the lads for the first time. We will now have to wait and see how he reacts. Hopefully, the injury won't stiffen up too much, so that we can push him further later in the week. His fitness won't have suffered greatly, because he's only been out for two or three weeks.

“He could come into contention for this weekend, and we will need him next week because we have a spell of three games in eight days,” added Williams.

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Following this Saturday's trip to Turf Moor, the U's travel to Luton Town next Tuesday before entertaining Queens Park Rangers the following Saturday.

A run of five straight league and cup defeats was ended by an exciting 4-3 home win over Derby County, and the U's will be looking to add to their points tally at Burnley, who are currently sixth in the table.

Jackson might struggle to make it in time for this weekend, but the squad will be boosted by the addition of new signing Kevin McLeod, and the return of George Elokobi.

Left-sided specialist McLeod signed from Swansea City last week and is in line to make his U's debut, while defender Elokobi is available again after a three-match ban.

“Although we had no game last weekend, we have continued to train as normal, which has given Kevin (McLeod) a chance to bed in. He's fitted in well with the rest of the lads, and he'll be in the squad at Burnley,” confirmed Williams.

Although the transfer window closed last Thursday, it will be possible for teams to sign new players on emergency loan deals from Friday.

Meanwhile, teenage striker Jamie Guy was on target for Colchester United Reserves for the third game in succession, in the 2-2 draw at Norwich City on Monday night. Youngster Stephen Opoka netted the opener, and Elokobi hit the bar late on.

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