Managers don’t have favourites, at least John Ward doesn’t!
COLCHESTER United boss John Ward does not have his “favourites”.
Kem Izzet is the U’s experienced club captain, and on the brink of clocking up 400 league appearances for the Essex club, but even he is not guaranteed a place in the 16-man squad.
Izzet was left out of the 16-man group for last Saturday’s 3-2 defeat at Yeovil Town, despite starting the previous game, a 2-1 win over Brentford.
Instead, the 31-year-old will be playing for the U’s Reserves this evening, in an Essex Senior Cup semi-final tie at Concord Rangers.
Izzet faces stiff competition from new recruit Martin Rowlands, Anthony Wordsworth, Andy Bond and Lloyd James for a place in the first choice central midfield.
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The ex-Charlton trainee is currently on 397 league appearances for the U’s, so he will soon be hoping to join team-mate Karl Duguid in the exclusive 400-club.
Duguid became the sixth player in the U’s history to celebrate 400 league games for the club, during the win over Brentford.
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Ward admitted: “Kemi was not in the 16-man squad (at Yeovil), which was a tough decision to make.
“He’s my captain and he played the previous Tuesday. But I’ve got no kind of favourites. I try and make what I think is the right decision for the team, and for the group.
“Michael Rose and Mark Cousins were not there (in the squad against Yeovil), while the likes of John-Joe (O’Toole) and Ashley (Vincent) are coming back from injuries.
“The squad is OK, and should be doing better than coming away with nothing from Yeovil,” added Ward.
In addition to Izzet, the U’s squad for the trip to Concord Rangers includes fellow senior players Cousins, Bond, Rose, James, Matt Heath and Kayode Odejayi.
Admission for tonight’s game (7.45pm kick-off) at Concord’s Thames Road ground is �8 for adults and �4 concessions. It is free for under-16s.
The U’s first team entertain relegation-haunted Rochdale at the Weston Homes Community Stadium on Saturday.