New signings are needed - Williams

DESPITE Colchester United's satisfactory 3-1 win over Heybridge Swifts on Saturday, in their first pre-season friendly, caretaker manager Geraint Williams insists that the club needs to secure several new signings before the new season begins in three weeks' time.

By Carl Marston

DESPITE Colchester United's satisfactory 3-1 win over Heybridge Swifts on Saturday, in their first pre-season friendly, caretaker manager Geraint Williams insists that the club needs to secure several new signings before the new season begins in three weeks' time.

Since the end of last season, the U's have bid farewell to manager Phil Parkinson and seven senior players - Neil Danns (now Birmingham), Liam Chilvers (now Preston), Tony Thorpe (now Stevenage), Gareth Williams, Sam Stockley, Stephen Hunt (now Notts County) and loanee Mark Yeates (back at Tottenham).

The only two arrivals, Jamie Cureton and Johnnie Jackson, both played for 45 minutes at Scraley Road, with front-runner Cureton bagging a hat-trick.


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“We still need two or three new players, at the very least,” admitted Williams after Saturday's Essex derby. “This match was a good work-out for everyone. The result wasn't important, but there were no injuries and the performance was spot-on.

“We didn't want to play all the senior players for one half, and all the youngsters for the other half, so we mixed it around and tried out a few little pairings.

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“The second-half team gelled a little better, and Jamie (Cureton) proved again that he is a natural goalscorer. If he gets a chance, he usually scores.

“You must give full credit to Jamie. He has worked hard on his fitness over the summer, as have all the lads. You wouldn't believe that they have only been back in pre-season training for a couple of weeks.

“Jamie has the full repertoire of goals. His first was a poacher's goal, while his second was a header from Kem's (Izzet's) cross. His shot for the third goal he bangs in all the time in training.

“Chris (Iwelumo) has only been back for a few days (after his summer operation). He's taken it easy in training, missing the first week, but he's joined in the second week,” added Williams.

Caretaker boss Williams is one of the candidates for the vacant manager's job at Layer Road. It is hoped that a new man will be installed either just before, or just after, the U's pre-season match at Bournemouth next Saturday.

Tottenham coach Chris Hughton, former Charlton assistant Mervyn Day and ex-Gillingham player/manager Andy Hessenthaler are among the favourites to succeed Parkinson.

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