Perkins perseveres despite ban threat

DAVID Perkins always knew that he had a suspension hanging over him from last season, but that didn't make it any easier for Colchester United's summer signing.

Carl Marston

DAVID Perkins always knew that he had a suspension hanging over him from last season, but that didn't make it any easier for Colchester United's summer signing.

Perkins finally put a frustrating start to the campaign behind him by scoring the winner on his full debut at Millwall on Tuesday night, so ensuring that the U's are in the hat for the second round draw of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy.

The tigerish midfielder had to serve the final four matches of a five-game ban, following his sending-off for his former club Rochdale in the Coca-Cola League Two play-off semi-finals in May, before he could be considered for selection by new boss Geraint Willaims.

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But now he is off and running, and looks intent on landing a regular spot in the U's midfield.

"I had to get my head around the suspension, because all I wanted to do was play, but I managed to do that," explained Perkins.

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"I made a couple of appearances as a substitute (at Ipswich and against Oldham), although that was on the left wing, which isn't my favourite position. I had to do a job for the team.

"I'm happier in central midfield. That is my natural position, and I'm obviously pleased to score on my full debut for the team," added Perkins.

The 26-year-old netted the only goal of the game after just eight minutes against Millwall. His rising shot hit the underside of the bar and rolled over the line off keeper David Forde. The draw for the second round is on Saturday.

Now he wants to establish himself in League One, having spent all his career in the lower leagues with Morecambe and Rochdale. This is actually only his third season in the Football League.

"It wasn't a great strike for the goal. It was an OK strike, and I'm claiming it as my goal, even though it seemed to hit the keeper before going in," continued Perkins.

"I scored a few goals for Rochdale last season, so I like to get my share of goals, although I hadn't score many before then.

"It's a big shame that we haven't got a game this weekend (Leicester fixture has been postponed, due to the internationals). I want to start a few league games, to get in the full swing of things.

"I thought we played well at Millwall, especially in the first half.

We could have scored more than the one goal. They pushed a few more people forward in the second-half, and they put us under pressure for a while, but we were ready for that.

"We weathered the storm, and also the last five minutes when they put us under a bit of pressure, with the home fans getting a bit restless "We now have a break until the away game at Crewe (September 13). That will be a return up north for me.

"However I've really settled in at Colchester and I really like the place," concluded Perkins, who was born in the north-west at Heysham He signed for the U's in the summer, for an undisclosed six-figure fee, having played 170 league games for Morecambe in non-league, and then a couple of seasons for Rochdale in League Two.

His final appearance for Dale saw him score a vital goal in the play-off semi-final against Darlington. But he was then sent off and, when an appeal against the red card was rejected by the FA, he was handed a five-match ban.

He therefore missed Rochdale's defeat in the play-off final to Stockport County, and the U's first four games of this season. But now he is champing at the bit to become a force in League One.

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