U’s boss McGreal likes rotation, but he might stick for the time being

Rene Gilmartin and Ryan Jackson celebrate after the final whistle following last Saturday's 1-0 win

Rene Gilmartin and Ryan Jackson celebrate after the final whistle following last Saturday's 1-0 win over Lincoln. Picture: STEVE WALLER - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Colchester United have been winning plaudits for their goal-scoring prowess this season, topping the League Two goal-charts in recent weeks, but U’s boss John McGreal has also been highlighting the excellent performances at the other end of the pitch.

Rene Gilmartin, who played his first league game in nearly six years for the home win over Crawley three weeks ago, has kept his place in goal since then, and conceded just two goals in four outings.

The 31-year-old has looked solid, but has also been well-protected by a U’s defence that has often alternated between a three-man centre-back system and a flat back-four.

Tom Eastman has been the centre-half to miss out, when the U’s revert to a four-man defence – as with last weekend’s 1-0 win over Lincoln – which says a lot about the form of young Frankie Kent.

McGreal said: “Lincoln do play in a different way, getting the ball forward, so I felt going to a four-man would be better.

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“But I do like the three, and that’s what I have mainly played since I have been here.

“Frankie (Kent) has had to bide his time since his injury. The three centre-halves have all been excellent, and to leave one out at times has been difficult. But Tom is up and ready.”

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With regards the goalkeeping situation, McGreal said: “It was the right time to bring Rene in, and rotate it.

“But I’m sure I’ll surprise you again when Rene comes out and Dillon (Barnes) goes in. It’s a rotation. I felt that Rene needed games, and he would have been involved prior to his coming back from a finger injury,” said McGreal.

It would be no surprise, though, if the U’s boss named the same side for tomorrow’s visit of Swindon.


COLCHESTER: Gilmartin, Jackson, Prosser, Kent, Vincent-Young, Lapslie, Pell, Senior, Szmodics, Nouble, Norris, Eastman, Mandron, Collins, Wright, Dickenson, Comley & Ross.

SWINDON: Vigouroux, Knoyle, Nelson, Lancashire, Taylor, McCourt, Dunne, Smith, McGlashan, Richards, Doughty, Adebayo, Anderson, Alzate, Landollo, Twine, Woolfenden, Diagourage & McCormack.

Referee: Dean Whitestone (Northants)

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