Platt fears no one

COLCHESTER United target man, Clive Platt, fears no one in the Championship, despite having jumped up a couple of divisions himself only a few months ago.

By Carl Marston

COLCHESTER United target man, Clive Platt, fears no one in the Championship, despite having jumped up a couple of divisions himself only a few months ago.

It has been a stop-start campaign to date, with Platt having to sit out three matches due to suspension, which kept him on the sidelines for nearly a month.

The ex-MK Dons striker is now back with a vengeance, and he believes that the U's are only "inches away" from turning a run of draws into victories, hopefully starting at home to newly-promoted Scunthorpe United this afternoon.


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"It's not been the easiest walk back into the team. I had a long suspension, and then returned as substitute when we were down to 10 men against Charlton, playing as a lone striker," explained Platt.

"I then started two difficult away games, at Southampton (1-1) and Blackpool (2-2). They can be seen as hard-earned draws, but as a team we were disappointed not to get more points from these matches.

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"That shows just how ambitious we are. No one is dominating us in matches. We look very comfortable in this division, and I'm settling in well since my move from MK Dons.

"I suppose Burnley (3-2 defeat) were the one team who looked very strong, but we weren't at our best that day, and we had the chances to get something out of that game before and after half-time," added Platt.

Ex-Walsall trainee Platt became the U's club record signing when he moved from Milton Keynes for £300,000 in July. He impressed in pre-season, before picking up a red card in the last friendly against Bolton.

The 29-year-old scored on his debut, with a late header in the opening day 2-2 draw at Sheffield United, one of five draws in seven league games.

"We are just inches away from winning a lot of games," insisted Platt.

"If we keep playing like the way that we have been, then the wins will start coming. It's only a few minor differences.

"We've been scoring a lot of goals (14 in seven league games), but we need to improve defensively all over the park. We need to attack and defend as a team. It's not just down to a couple of lads at the back.

"The gaffer (Geraint Williams) told us that it was a good defensive display (in open play) against Blackpool, but we switched off at two set pieces and ended up conceding two goals from corners.

"Home form is always important, and we'll be looking to take advantage in front of our own fans against Scunthorpe and then QPR (next Wednesday). Win them and suddenly our draws at Southampton and Blackpool look like terrific results," added Platt.

Platt formed a potent strike force partnership with Izzy McLeod at MK Dons last term. He netted 18 league goals and scooped the Dons'

player-of-the-year award, while McLeod contributed 21 and was named in the PFA's League Two select team.

Just as Platt moved on to Colchester, so McLeod also stepped up a couple of divisions by signing for fellow Championship club Charlton Athletic. Yet former Derby front-runner McLeod was not even in the 16-man squad when the Addicks visited Layer Road two weeks ago.

Platt confirmed: "That shows the strength in depth that some of these clubs have got. Izzy was very disappointed not to even be in the squad against us.

"I had a word with him after our game. He has been a substitute a few times, and he played in the next match. I'm sure he'll end up scoring a few goals for Charlton.

"But we too are feeling confident in this division. I'm enjoying playing against better players, and we are not getting beaten at the moment," concluded Platt.

Squads

COLCHESTER UNITED: Davison, Duguid, Baldwin, Virgo, Elokobi, Yeates, Jackson, Izzet, McLeod, Platt, Lisbie, Connolly, Guttridge, Guy, White, Granville, Sheringham, Wadsworth, Balogh, Gerken.

SCUNTHORPE UNITED: Murphy, Bryne, Iriekpen, Butler, Youga, Sparrow, Goodwin, Baraclough, Hurst, Paterson, Hayes, May, Forte, Taylor, Lillis, Williams, Crosby, Cork.

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