John-Joe O’Toole offered new contract by U’s

COLCHESTER United’s high-profile midfielder, John-Joe O’Toole, has been offered a new contract by the Essex club.

Despite enduring a season blighted by injuries, the influential O’Toole is still seen as a key figure by U’s boss John Ward.

Ex-Watford star O’Toole is one of several U’s players out of contract this summer, and the 23-year-old will no doubt weigh up his options elsewhere, before committing himself.

Keeper Ben Williams, defender Magnus Okuonghae and striker Kayode Odejayi are amongst the other prominent players currently mulling over new offers. O’Toole is in the same boat.

“I have offered John-Joe a new contract,” revealed U’s boss Ward.

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“As I have said to him, I am the one that knows all about you, while others will probably look and say – ‘what’s he done?’

“They may have a doubt or two, simply because he has not figured strongly. But he’s very fit, he’s very strong, and he’s fine now.

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“I’m always saying that it’s better the devil you know, and I’m saying to John-Joe that I’m the devil he knows!

“I know all about him, while others might have their uncertainities about him,” added Ward.

O’Toole was snapped up by former U’s boss Aidy Boothroyd from his old club Watford, initially on loan (September 2009), and then on a permanent deal from the following January.

He has always had the potential to be a big impact player, in the heart of midfield, but he missed seven months of 2010, due to a broken leg sustained at Charlton, and was dogged by groin problems over the last campaign.

In fact, O’Toole only started one game (6-1 home defeat by Stevenage on Boxing Day) since mid-September.

See today’s EADT for full story

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