Maybury not expecting Leicester ovation

ALAN Maybury is not expecting a big ovation when he returns to his old club Leicester City this afternoon, in the colours of Colchester United.

Carl Marston

Colchester soccer, main preview (with Maybury pic)

By Carl Marston

ALAN Maybury is not expecting a big ovation when he returns to his old club Leicester City this afternoon, in the colours of Colchester United.

And that's not because Maybury failed to produce the goods at the Walkers Stadium - he actually rattled up 102 first team appearances for the Foxes.

But last season's experience with fallen giants Leicester was not a happy one, either for him or the rest of the club. The result was relegation to the third tier for the proud East Midlands club (first time in their history) and a mid-season departure for Maybury, on loan at Aberdeen.

Most Read

“I'm not sure what sort of reception I will get, but I don't think it will be great,” confessed Maybury, who has made the right-back slot his own with the U's.

“Last year was a difficult year for everyone, managers, fans and players alike. We must have had about six managers, if you include caretakers, and it felt like there were about 25 new players!

“The players got lost in the mix, and I was out of the door by January. The club had been at the wrong end of the division (Championship) for a couple of years, so a new manager (Martin Allen) was brought in with new coaches.

“However, it didn't work from the start and we then had change, followed by change and more change!

“Players were played out of position. You had centre-halves playing in midfield, and strikers asked to play out on the wing. Results were bad, and it got to the situation where no one knew what was going to come next around the corner. It was something I had not come across before in my career.

“Some of us were sold and some of us moved on. The changes happened so quickly and it was very difficult.

“But having said that, I thought that I did a good job during my time at Leicester,” added Maybury.

The Foxes were relegated along with Colchester and Scunthorpe last season, finishing third from bottom, just one point behind Coventry City.

But it's been all change this term. Nigel Pearson's men are odds on to be crowned league champions, and will probably have wrapped up automatic promotion by early next month.

Their change of fortunes has not surprised Maybury. They are currently nine points clear at the top.

“Leicester are easily the best team in the division. They have now got stability, which has helped them,” continued Maybury.

“They decided on a new manager (Pearson) and they have stuck with him. They managed to keep most of their players from last season, while also adding to their squad. There's no doubt that they will end up the champions.

“But we will have no fear with going there. We have done well against the teams above us, and our away record has been good all season.

“I know before I came that we had some problems at home earlier in the season, but we have got better at home as well,” added Maybury.

Dublin-born Maybury, a former Republic or Ireland international, did not sign for the U's until early December, by which time current boss Paul Lambert was at the helm.

The 30-year-old had spent the second half of last season on loan at Aberdeen, where he played 19 games, but he was without a club from the summer until his eventual move to the Community Stadium.

However, the former Leeds and Hearts defender did not take long to settle with the U's. He has been ever-present in the last 19 games, since making his debut in the 2-1 victory at his old club Leeds on December 13.

His short-term contract expires at the end of this season, but he is in no doubt as to where he would like to be playing his football next year - still at Colchester!

“I'd like to stay here longer. It's great to be playing regularly, and I'm delighted to be in the team. You know what you get with me, usually a steady performance, though nothing to take the limelight,” admitted Maybury.

“I've spoken to the manager a couple of times about next year. He asked me about my thoughts for next season, but we haven't sat down and sorted anything out yet.

“At the start of this season I had the chance of going to a couple of clubs, but they weren't right for me. I also trained with a few clubs, but I was prepared to wait and hold out.

“Then Colchester came and it felt just right. I had my family to consider, and everything has worked out well.

“I still think we are outside bets for the play-offs. If we had just won one of those three games that we lost on the trot, then we would really have been in the mix,” concluded Maybury.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter