Lisbie hopes U's slowly turning corner

COLCHESTER United's leading marksman, Kevin Lisbie, believes that the U's are “slowly” turning the corner.Lisbie fired home his 10th goal of the season last weekend, during the 2-2 home draw against Sheffield United, and the ex-Charlton front-runner is on the scent of more goals at Burnley today.

Carl Marston

COLCHESTER United's leading marksman, Kevin Lisbie, believes that the U's are “slowly” turning the corner.

Lisbie fired home his 10th goal of the season last weekend, during the 2-2 home draw against Sheffield United, and the ex-Charlton front-runner is on the scent of more goals at Burnley today.

The U's remain three points adrift at the foot of the Championship, and four points away from safety, but Lisbie can see light at the of the tunnel.


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“It's starting to happen slowly, the lads can feel it,” revealed Lisbie during the long trip up to Lancashire yesterday.

“We are certainly not going to go down without a fight. That was clear from the Sheffield United game, when it would have been easy for us to roll over after going behind.

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“I was personally happy to score again. I've set myself a target, which I'll reveal at the end of the season, but I'm well on course to achieve that.

“We have three games over the next eight days, which is how we like it. There's no time to dwell on each one,” added Lisbie. The U's entertain fellow strugglers Preston on Tuesday evening, and are at Hull City next Saturday.

Manager Geraint Williams has a number of pleasant selection dilemmas to solve, following the recruitment of four new players during the January transfer window. Three of the four should figure today.

Right-back Phil Ifil and centre-half Chris Coyne will start their fourth successive games, following their moves from Tottenham and Luton respectively.

Striker Scott Vernon was a second-half substitute against the Blades last weekend, after his 11th hour signing from Blackpool. He might well be on the bench again.

But ex-Brighton midfielder Dean Hammond will have to wait to make his U's debut. The 24-year-old served the third of a three-match suspension last Saturday, and he remains on the sidelines with a niggling injury picked up during his final days with the Seagulls.

Squads

BURNLEY: Jensen, Alexander, Varga, Unsworth, Harley, Elliott, O'Connor, Gudjonsson, Lafferty, Blake, Akinbiyi, Randall, Cole, Spicer, Caldwell, McCann, Kiraly.

COLCHESTER UNITED: Gerken, Ifil, Coyne, Virgo, White, Duguid, Watson, Izzet, Jackson, Platt, Lisbie, Sheringham, Vernon, McLeod, Balogh, Guttridge, Cousins.

UNITED'S squad is perhaps the strongest that it has ever been in terms of numbers.

Earlier in the campaign, youngsters like Anthony Wordsworth and Tom Webb were occasionally on the bench.

But last weekend the experienced duo of Teddy Sheringham and Kevin Watson were both unused substitutes, and such senior players as Danny Granville, Pat Baldwin, Kevin McLeod, Luke Guttridge and Jamie Guy were not even in the final 16-man squad.

Defender Baldwin, despite playing 70 minutes for the Reserves in midweek after a recent knee injury, did not even travel yesterday. Nor did front-runner Guy, who scored twice in the Reserves' 2-2 draw against Northampton.

Kevin Lisbie relishes the competition for places.

He said: “The arrival of Scott (Vernon) has kept Clive Platt and I on our toes. It's certainly helped our game.

“It was a bit different at Barnsley (1-0 defeat), when there wasn't so much competition. But Platty and I know that we can't take our foot off the pedal now, otherwise we'll be out of the team.”

The U's have won just two of their last 19 games, a miserable run that has seen them collect just 13 points from a possible 54, and also bow out of the FA Cup at the hands of League Two side Peterborough.

They will be hoping to avoid being doubled for the first time this season, after Burnley were good value for their 3-2 win at Layer Road at the beginning of September, just a week after the U's had claimed such a comprehensive 3-0 win at Preston.

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