Jeffrey looking to shine in South Yorkshire

Jeffrey Monakana, in action against Peterborough last weekend

Jeffrey Monakana, in action against Peterborough last weekend - Credit: Archant

Jeffrey Monakana has only just regained his place in the Colchester United side, but he knows that he will lose that starting spot, regardless of how he performs at Rotherham this afternoon.

The U’s flying winger was recalled for last Saturday’s 1-0 home win over Peterborough, which coincided with the Essex club’s first victory in 12 league games.

But Monakana, who is currently in his second month on loan from Preston, is set to be cup-tied for the following weekend’s FA Cup first round visit of Sheffield United.

And the 19-year-old will also have to sit out a trip to his parent club, when the U’s take on Preston at Deepdale in three weeks time.

“It’s going to be hard to regain my place, when the time comes, because there are good players here,” admitted Monakana, on the eve of today’s trip to South Yorkshire.

“I’m definitely not expecting to go straight back into the team, but if I do, I’ll be happy with that.

“In the games I am missing, we have a strong enough team to win. I will just need to stake my claim in training, and in the games I’m going to play.”

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But that’s all in the future.

For the present, Monakana is looking forward to another start at Rotherham’s New York Stadium.

And it won’t be the first time that he has played at the Millers’ new home this season – he was an 87th minute substitute for Preston, during their goalless draw at Rotherham on August 10.

“I’ve already played at Rotherham, and they are a difficult team to play against,” revealed Monakana.

“They are a long ball team. It’s all heads down and knock-ons, so it’s going to be a battle. It will be a clash of different styles of play, but I think we can go there and win.

“We put in a good performance last week, and it felt good to finally get that elusive win.

“We’ve scored goals in most games, so we knew if we could hold out we would win. That win was always coming.

“Beating Peterborough also gives us more belief that we can go on and get some more wins under our belt.

“Peterborough are definitely going to be up there, so last weekend proved we can beat anyone.”

Monakana arrived at Colchester in the middle of last month, having been frustrated by just a couple of brief outings as a substitute for Preston this term.

The ex-Arsenal Academy product started off with a bang, scoring a terrific goal on his U’s debut, in a 2-2 draw at Bradford City.

Since then, he has made eight appearances, five from the start and three from the bench.

“The whole reason I left Preston was because I wasn’t starting games under Simon Grayson. I think I play my best when I do start games,” confirmed Monakana.

“As a winger, you need confidence in yourself, so it’s hard to get into a game as a substitute when it’s in full flow.”

Gavin Massey is again set to miss out with a hamstring injury, and with fellow wingers Drey Wright (recent knee operation) and Sanchez Watt (quad injury) also still on the sidelines, Monakana should retain his place at Rotherham.”

In fact, U’s boss Joe Dunne might name an unchanged side today.

New signing Dominic Vose, signed on a monthly contract yesterday, could be on the bench. The ex-West Ham trainee, an attacking midfielder or front-runner, had a successful trial with the U’s after leaving Barnet last summer.

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