John McGreal hails Colchester United keeper Sam Walker on eve of his 150th league appearance

U's keeper Sam Walker, making a fine save during the home win over Mansfield last month. The U's ent

U's keeper Sam Walker, making a fine save during the home win over Mansfield last month. The U's entertain already-promoted Doncaster on Good Friday. Picture: STEVE WALLER - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Sam Walker is set to celebrate his 150th league appearance for Colchester United, at Notts County today, an achievement which has been highlighted by his manager John McGreal.

“Considering he missed the whole of last season through injury, it is a terrific effort,” enthused McGreal, with reference to his No. 1 choice keeper.

“Sam has kept double-figures (10) with clean-sheets this season, and was unlucky not to get another one last weekend with Luton’s late goal.

“In fact, he would have had a lot more clean-sheets, if it wasn’t for several late goals conceded in games this season.

“He fully deserves to get to 150 games, and at such a young age,” added McGreal.

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Walker, 25, who has been ever-present in League Two this season, signed for the U’s from Chelsea in 2013, after an initial loan spell. He was ever-present in 2013-11 and missed just one game the following season.

Meanwhile, today’s hosts Notts County have pulled away from the relegation zone in recent weeks, thanks to a run of just two defeats in their last 10 games.

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Kevin Nolan’s men come into today’s encounter fresh from back-to-back 1-0 wins over Barnet and at Wycombe.

McGreal continued: “Notts County started the season well, then fell away a little. When we played them in December (2-1 home win), they still had a strong squad.

“They’ve had lots of 1-0s of late, with some solid performances, and they have a good deal of experience throughout the team, especially Richard Duffy in defence, Michael O’Connor in midfield and of course Jon Stead and Shola Ameobi up front.

“In fact, it will be a big battle for our centre-halves this weekend, but we’ve got to try and win the game if we want to stay right in the mix.

“We’ve kept going with some solid performances and results, but we’re not quite in it yet, due to our away record.

“We need to change that, but we’ve come a long way with the squad that we’ve got.

“We have kept putting in positive performances after a negative one, and we will keep pushing until we get over the line, or we can’t get there.

“It’s full steam ahead for us,” added McGreal.

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