Lambert wants to sign Walker permanently

COLCHESTER United boss Paul Lambert is determined to sign goalkeeping saviour Jimmy Walker on a permanent basis.

Carl Marston

COLCHESTER United boss Paul Lambert is determined to sign goalkeeping saviour Jimmy Walker on a permanent basis.

Walker was crowned a hero when saving Adam Boyd's 55th minute penalty, to seal a 1-0 win over visiting Leyton Orient at the Community Stadium.

The 35-year-old has been in excellent form since his loan move from West Ham at the end of November. His temporary deal comes to an end after this weekend's home game against Tranmere, but Lambert does not want that to be his last appearances for the ever-improving U's.

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“Jimmy Walker is a brilliant keeper. He has been a massive help since he's been here,” enthused Lambert.

“He's a top, top goalkeeper. In fact, I rate him as highly as Scotland's Andy Goram. He's that good.

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“I'd like to bring Jimmy in on a permanent basis. His last game is this Saturday, but I'll be doing my best to keep him at the club,” added Lambert.

But the Scotsman paid tribute to his whole team, and not just Walker, for a second victory in just three days following the 2-1 triumph at Brighton on Boxing Day. And he also did not rule out a late dash for the play-offs.

Lambert continued: “We are doing fine. If you ask me what I'd like for us to achieve during the second half of the season, then it would be to get out of this league.

“That's what I would like, although I know that is a big, big ask. But if you don't have ambition in football, then there's not point in playing it.

“Leyton Orient are a very good side. They proved that when they beat us in the FA Cup (1-0) last month, and they gave us a very tough game today.

“It's a big ask to play two games in just three days. I never had to do it as a player (in Scotland and Germany).

“Steven Gillespie will gain confidence from scoring his penalty. He did OK for us, but we will only see the best from him when he gets fully match-fit. Steve earned the right to take the penalty. He had the confidence on the day to take it, and he took it with great aplomb.

“We were 23rd when I came in, and now we're up to 11th. The lads are going places,” added Lambert.

Leyton Orient boss Martin Ling said: “I didn't think either one was a penalty. They were two soft penalties, and for their one the ball just hit him (Tamika Mkandawire) on the arm. It was never a penalty.”

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