Platt believes U's have the firepower

CLIVE Platt's good friend and former striker force-partner, Kevin Lisbie, may have scored for Ipswich against Colchester on Tuesday night, but the big man still believes that the U's have the firepower to mount a promotion push this season.

Carl Marston

By Carl Marston

CLIVE Platt's good friend and former striker force-partner, Kevin Lisbie, may have scored for Ipswich against Colchester on Tuesday night, but the big man still believes that the U's have the firepower to mount a promotion push this season.

Platt and Lisbie teamed up to good effect in the Championship last season, despite the Essex club's relegation, but now Platt has a selection of new attacking partners.

The U's entertain League One leaders Oldham Athletic at the new Weston Homes Community Stadium this afternoon, and Platt is targeting a first win at the new ground.

“Kevin (Lisbie) scored a great goal against us, but I know that he'd have preferred to score against anyone else rather than us,” explained Platt.

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“He still has a lot of good friends at Colchester, and there's probably still a part of him that wishes he was still with us. However, Ipswich are a Championship club and I'm sure he'll score a lot of goals for them.

“We have a slightly different squad to last season, but we have a lot of options up front with me, Scotty (Scott Vernon), Steve (Gillespie) and Sunday (Wasiu).

“We are all different players with different roles to play. Every striker wants to score goals, and of course I want to get off the mark for the season, but first and foremost we want to get our first home win.

“That is important. If we could beat Oldham, then that would mean back-to-back victories. That would put us right up the table,” added Platt.

Ex-MK Dons target man Platt produced a superb individual performance in last weekend's 3-1 win at Swindon, which was the club's first league success of the season.

Platt's commanding display in leading the front-line, alongside Vernon, drew high praise from manager Geraint Williams. The 30-year-old is hoping for a similar outcome this afternoon.

“Everything went right at Swindon, both for me and the team. All my headers seemed to come off, and I linked up well with Scotty (Vernon) and the midfield,” continued Platt.

“We had enjoyed a good pre-season, but the defeat at Hartlepool (4-2) was very disappointing. However, we have come back well. I thought we played well at Huddersfield (0-0) in our first home game, without getting the result, and then came the Carling Cup win (1-0) at Gillingham, which could have been a tricky tie.

“At Swindon, we delivered with both the performance and the result. Back-to-back wins at this stage of the season make a big difference, and we can get Colchester right up the league by beating Oldham.

“We want to get a few home wins, and start to fill the new stadium. I'm sure the fans will come flooding in if we can make a push in the top half of the table,” added Platt, who signed for the U's from MK Dons for £300,000 last summer.

Platt is set to again play alongside Vernon this afternoon, because leading scorer Steven Gillespie is a definite non-starter with a tweaked hamstring.

It promises to be a special day for Vernon, who began his career at Oldham. He came up through the youth team and went on to make 88 senior appearances for the Latics, scoring 27 goals.

This is the U's last league game for a fortnight, because the following weekend's home match against Leicester City has been postponed until Tuesday, September 30, due to the Foxes having three players on international duty.

Squads

COLCHESTER UNITED: Gerken, White, Reid, Heath, Lockwood, Yeates, Izzet, Jackson, Perkins, Vernon, Platt, Wordsworth, Coyne, Ifil, Hammond, Wasiu, Elito, Cousins.

OLDHAM ATHLETIC: Crossley, Eardley, Hazell, Gregan, Lomax, Liddell, Allott, Whitaker, Taylor, Hughes, Alessandra, Maher, Smalley, Stam, O'Grady, Lee, Kalala, Fleming.

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