Latest U’s skipper Anthony Wordsworth refuses to think negative

COLCHESTER United may have kissed goodbye to their play-off hopes, following Tuesday night’s 3-1 defeat at Walsall, but it was still an evening that Anthony Wordsworth will never forget.

Not only did Wordsworth score his 12th goal of the season, to temporarily give the U’s the lead in the West Midlands , but he also had the honour of leading out the team for the first time in his career.

Kem Izzet’s late withdrawal from the squad, due to ill health, meant that Wordsworth was made skipper by boss John Ward.

It was a proud moment for the 23-year-old midfielder, who has come up through the youth ranks to become the U’s most valuable asset.

“It was the first time I had started as captain,” confirmed Wordsworth.

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“I’ve been made captain when Kemi (Izzet) has got substituted, but it was nice to lead out the team for the first team.

“Having been a captain of the youth team and then the reserves, it’s a good feeling to now have been a captain of the first team.

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“Kemi was on the bus in the morning, but he was ill. The gaffer gave a team talk in the hotel before the game, and said that I was going to lead the boys out, which was a nice moment.

“But I’m sure Kemi will be back for Exeter on Saturday, and will be captain,” added Wordsworth.

Midfield maestro Wordsworth is now neck-and-neck with Steven Gillespie at the top of the U’s goal-scoring charts, on 12 goals.

His latest strike, a superb long-range curler at Walsall, was cancelled out by three answered goals as the U’s slipped to 10th in the table, now a distant nine points adrift of the play-offs.

To all intents and purposes, those faint hopes of pushing for sixth spot have been dashed.

But Wordsworth refuses to think negative.

“We have still got a good run of games. Until it’s not possible, we will still try to get in there, although this (Walsall) defeat was really disappointing,” continued Wordsworth.

”All our recent draws have killed us, but we’ll keep fighting.

“We now have to pick ourselves up and get three points at Exeter (on Saturday), finish the season strongly and see where that takes us.”

With regards his goal-tally for the season, and his cracker at Walsall, Wordsworth said: “Bondy (Andy Bond) laid it off, and it opened up for me.

“The gaffer said to me before the game that their keeper (David Grof) is always off his line, so I had that in my mind and just tried to get the ball over him.

“I’ve now got 12 goals, which is a good amount especially coming from midfield.

“I’m happy with that, because I’ve beaten my previous best of 11 from a couple of seasons ago.

“But to score and then lose was disappointing.”

Wordsworth had no complaints with Tuesday night’s loss at Walsall, which was the U’s first defeat in 10 games.

He explained: “It’s been a difficult month with so many games (eighth of nine games in March), but I don’t think that had much to do with it. Walsall were just the better team.”

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