Magilton facing a difficult choice

JIM Magilton knows he is going to have a couple of disappointed players on his hands tonight as he prepares to make changes to a winning side for the derby match at Colchester United.

By Derek Davis

JIM Magilton knows he is going to have a couple of disappointed players on his hands tonight as he prepares to make changes to a winning side for the derby match at Colchester United.

With Alex Bruce back from suspension and Simon Walton and Sylvain Legwinski fit again, Magilton is preparing to juggle his team but is happy to do that.

While Gavin Williams will undergo surgery for a long-standing groin problem next week, it is hoped he will keep his place in midfield at Layer Road, while Darren Currie who impressed against Sunderland may be sacrificed on the U's tight pitch.


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Magilton said: “Having difficult choices to make is what I wanted. That is why I have brought players in.

“There will be people who are disappointed but that is the nature of the beast.

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“The laws of the jungle say if you are in a winning side you deserve to stay but there are others who are deserving too.

“Simon, Gavin and Sylvain have been key to us doing well of late and if they are fit I will be looking to bring them in.”

After picking up his fifth booking of the season last weekend against Sunderland, Williams is suspended for the game against West Brom on October 14 and will use the lengthy break to have surgery.

Although the historic nature of the game, and the importance to both sets of supporters, with the near neighbours is not lost on Magilton, he has impressed on his players the need to be prepared for what Colchester throw at them but also not to be overwhelmed by the occasion.

He said: “The players are well aware of what this game means to the supporters but it is a big game for us simply because it is the next game. We are on a good run at the moment and we want to continue that.

“Colchester have done fantastically well and everyone in the region was delighted that they won promotion and are now in the championship. They are also coming into the game full of confidence and Geraint will have his team fired up and ready for this one.

“Colchester will throw everything at us and we have to withstand that and come back strong ourselves, as we did against Sunderland and Birmingham.

“The first 20 minutes of any game is important and we stood up to both and came back with a lot of quality and Friday night is going to be no different.”

Billy Clarke, who spent a loan spell at Layer Road to help in their promotion push, suffered a knock in the Sunderland game after going on as a substitute but should be fit and could challenge Jon Macken for a starting place, although the on-loan striker is expected to keep his place alongside Alan Lee.

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