Paul Reid to miss out again

AIDY Boothroyd is pleased he made no rash selection decisions on Tuesday night.After watching his side throw away a two-goal lead at rock-bottom Stockport last Saturday, the Colchester United boss admitted that his emotional reaction was to make changes to his side.

Stuart Watson

AIDY Boothroyd is pleased he made no rash selection decisions on Tuesday night.

After watching his side throw away a two-goal lead at rock-bottom Stockport last Saturday, the Colchester United boss admitted that his emotional reaction was to make changes to his side.

However, after sleeping on the issue, Boothroyd chose to stick with the same starting XI at Yeovil three days later - a decision that was justified by a battling 1-0 win.

Centre-backs Matt Heath and Magnus Okuonghae, having looked shaky at Edgeley Park, both repaid their manager's faith with strong second half performances at Huish Park.

“I was really pleased with them,” said Boothroyd, who gave his side a two-day break from training this week ahead of this afternoon's visit of Oldham.

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“I was going to change it around (on Tuesday), but I gave it some thought and changed my mind.

“In the pursuit of winning you can sometimes end up throwing the baby out with the bath water. It's therefore important to sometimes distance yourself from the situation before making decisions.

“Nobody can play well every single game throughout the season. It's all about the attitude shown by players when they do have a bad game and both Magnus and Matt bounced back really well.”

Captain Okuonghae - who has been an ever-present for the U's this season - will be partnered by Heath for the sixth consecutive game today due to the fact that Paul Reid continues to struggle with injury.

Reid quickly regained his first team place after returning from a long-term spell on the sidelines last October; but while his newly mended fractured kneecap has so far held up to the stresses of competitive football, the knock-on effect on his body has seen him pick a series of minor niggles including groin, calf and back strains.

“Paul Reid is one of those guys that will play through the pain,” said Boothroyd.

“He reminds me of that Monty Python sketch with the dark knight. He could get his arm cut off and he'd want to carry on playing!

“It's both his greatest strength and greatest weakness because he has a habit of pushing himself so hard he picks up little knocks.

“I don't want to lose him for a period of 10 games, so I'd rather rest him for a couple and get him right.”

The U's will also give yet another late fitness test to Kevin Lisbie this afternoon.

Having missed the wins over Carlisle and Southend through injury, Colchester's top-scorer looked set to make his return at Stockport last Saturday. The 31-year-old reported to training with an illness the day before the match though and, after travelling with the squad, it was decided he wasn't well enough to play. Meanwhile, Ashley Vincent is pushing hard for a place on the bench today following some lively performances in training over the last week. The winger has played just 60 minutes of a reserve team game since returning from an ankle injury which has kept him out for almost five months.

Oldham battled back from two goals down to claim a draw against Colchester last November following Marc Tierney's second half dismissal.

As few as four of the Latics' starting line-up from that game could be the same today however.

Goalkeeper Dean Brill has replaced loanee Darryl Flahavan between the sticks, while defender Jim Goodwin (Huddersfield) and midfielder Jason Price (Millwall) have been brought in on loan.

The biggest boost for Oldham boss Dave Penney though has, by far and away, been the return to fitness of the highly-rated Pawel Abbott. The Polish striker has scored the winner in two of Oldham's last three games.

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