Lambert angry over Football League decision

COLCHESTER United manager Paul Lambert has described Jimmy Walker's enforced return to West Ham as an “absolutely shocking decision.”

Carl Marston

COLCHESTER United manager Paul Lambert has described Jimmy Walker's enforced return to West Ham as an “absolutely shocking decision.”

Experienced keeper Walker officially returned to Upton Park today, following the end of his three-month emergency loan stint at the Community Stadium.

The U's had tried to sign the 35-year-old on loan for the rest of the season, during a frantic last day of the transfer window on February 2.


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They believed that the paperwork had been sent through to the Football League before the 5pm transfer deadline, and have been arguing their case over the last month.

However, the Essex club received news that they had lost their appeal earlier this week, and Walker himself missed what would have been his final appearance at Huddersfield on Tuesday night due to a groin problem.

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“As far as we are concerned, we got all the paperwork in on time, as I've said before,” insisted Lambert.

“I think its a woeful decision. In fact, it's an absolutely shocking decision.”

U's Chief Executive Steve Bradshaw said: “Despite extensive dialogue with the Football League, we have been unable to win our appeal against their initial ruling.”

Walker impressed during his 16 appearances for the U's, and the player himself was keen to stay until the end of the campaign.

Instead, Mark Cousins and Dean Gerken will be vying for the first-choice keeper's role over the last couple of months of the season. Cousins was in goal during the 2-2 home draw against Huddersfield, while Gerken played for an hour during the U's Reserves' 3-0 home win over Southend's second string yesterday afternoon.

Russell Malton, Medy Elito and Jordan Pavett were on target for the U's Reserves.

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