The U's could 'get physical' this season
PUBLISHED: 06:21 31 July 2018
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Colchester United have a more physical look to them for this coming season, and that should stand them in good stead as they try and secure promotion from League Two, at the third time of asking, following relegation in 2016.
The U’s have had an impressive pre-season, winning six of their seven senior friendlies and drawing the other one, but the business starts for real this Saturday, with a tough trip to Notts County.
The Essex club have snapped up some big physical players this summer, in the transfer market, including tall midfielder Harry Pell, from Cheltenham, and burly striker Frank Nouble from Newport County.
It all means that the U’s, predominantly a footballing side with the onus on keeping the ball on the deck, should be able to mix it up over the coming months.
“We look more physical, all-round, and in the middle of the park,” confirmed U’s boss John McGreal.
“When you buy a 6ft 4ins midfielder (Pell), and bring in a centre forward (Nouble) who is 6ft 3ins, then it visually looks that way as well.
“Even (Luke) Norris is around six foot, and is a really stocky boy as well, when you look at it. We do need that physical side. We need physicality as well as our footballing style.
“I think we have more options up top, and thanks to (owner) Robbie (Cowling) and (Director of Football) Tony (Humes), we got our work done early.
“We knew the areas where we needed to improve, and I just haven’t brought in players for the sake of it.
“We’ve covered a wide range of areas, but we’ve brought in players to help our own players as well, not to displace them.
“We’ve got them involved in pre-season, like Diaz Wright, Ollie Kendsale and Ryan Clampin.”
In terms of attacking options, McGreal has ex-Ipswich Town front-man Nouble, former Swindon front-runner Norris and Frenchman Mandron at his disposal, in addition to last season’s top scorer Sammie Szmodics, and Wolves loanee Aaron Collins.