John Ward delighted as O’Toole signs new Colchester United deal

JOHN WARD’S plans for the new League One season took a step forward yesterday after midfielder John-Joe O’Toole signed a new, two-year deal with the club.

The former Watford midfielder has only scored twice in 57 games for the U’s but his time at the club has been plagued by injuries since his arrival from Vicarage Road.

“I am really pleased because I firmly believe that the best is still to come from John-Joe,” said boss Ward.

“He has had the two injuries which can largely be put down to bad luck but he is repaired, healed and ready to go for next season.

“He is a strong, powerful midfielder who can also score goals. We have given him a two-year deal and are now looking for him to push on and take the team forward.”

Ward is still waiting on decisions from three other players offered contracts, Magnus Okuonghae, Lloyd James and Ben Williams.

The trio were given a month to decide, from the day they were offered a written contract, whether to extend their stay with the U’s

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Ward said: “The other three players have asked for the time that is afforded to them, they are entitled to that.

“But I won’t just be sitting around here and I am making other enquiries as I have the welfare of this football club to look after.

“I am very much okay with what is going on at the club, even though to the outsider it might look as though we are not making much progress,” added Ward, who expects much of the club’s transfer dealings to take place in the final week of June and the first week of July.

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