Platt has U's have the firepower

THERE will be no Teddy Sheringham for the next three weeks, but fellow striker Clive Platt believes that Colchester United have the firepower to make progress up the Championship table.

By Carl Marston

THERE will be no Teddy Sheringham for the next three weeks, but fellow striker Clive Platt believes that Colchester United have the firepower to make progress up the Championship table.

Former England star Sheringham starts his three-match suspension this evening, when Leicester City visit for a 5.20pm kick-off in front of the Sky TV cameras, after being sent off for violent conduct at Coventry last weekend.

The 41-year-old will also miss next Tuesday night's home match against Plymouth, and the trip to league leaders Watford the following weekend, before the Championship closes down for a two-week break for internationals.

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Sheringham's enforced absence restricts the attacking options of manager Geraint Williams, especially as fellow striker Jamie Guy continues to struggle with a tight hamstring.

But Platt is confident that he can continue his scoring streak, which has yielded three goals in the last five games. The U's club record signing will again partner Kevin Lisbie in attack against the Foxes.

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“There's no doubt that we will miss Teddy (Sheringham). He offers us something different,” admitted Platt last night.

“It was a blow that he got sent off, especially as Jamie (Guy) has also had problems with his hamstring. It's not been going right, but we can change things around, and Kevin (Lisbie) and I are now used to playing alongside each other.

“The onus is on us to keep it going. I'm happy with my form, and I'd like a couple more goals over our next two home matches,” added Platt.

Ex-MK Dons target man Platt scored three goals during October, netting in the 4-2 home win over QPR and the away defeats at Stoke (2-1) and Ipswich (3-1). He also scored on his debut in the opening day 2-2 draw at Sheffield United, thanks to a late header.

But the 30-year-old, who moved from Milton Keynes for £300,000 in July, is predicting a tough afternoon against a Leicester team who have the best defence in the Championship - just nine goals conceded in 12 league games.

“We're at home, so we'll be going for it! We know that Leicester are very strong at the back, and are well-organised, but we are dangerous going forward,” said Platt.

“It's a tough challenge. They are one of the best defences in our division. Yet we are creating lots of chances, and we've won our last two home games, so we are confident.

“We may have lost our last two matches, but we've been the away team and we haven't had much luck. We played well for most of the game against Ipswich, before it all went to pot late on, and the Coventry game looked a 0-0 until they got their late goal.

“It was particularly frustrating for our back four, who deserved a clean-sheet. They worked really hard, and Pat (Baldwin) threw his body on the line all afternoon. It's just unfortunate that they ended up scoring with a deflected shot off Pat. We didn't deserve that,” added Platt with reference to Michael Mifsud's 81st minute winner at the Ricoh Stadium.

In addition to striker Guy (tight hamstring), keeper Aidan Davison also faces a late fitness test on a shoulder injury. Dean Gerken is on standby, having been on the bench for the last three games.

Midfielder Kevin Watson will also be hoping to make his first appearance of the season, following his Achilles tendon and calf injuries. He has been an unused substitute in recent weeks.


COLCHESTER UNITED: Gerken or Davison, Duguid, Baldwin, Connolly, Elokobi, Yeates, Izzet, Jackson, Granville, Platt, Lisbie, Watson, Balogh, McLeod, Virgo, Guttridge, White, Cousins.

LEICESTER CITY: Fulop, N'Gotty, Kisnorbo, McAuley, Stearman, Hume, Wesolowski, Newton, Sheehan, John, Fryatt, Campbell, Chambers, Cort, Kenton, Maybury, Hellings, Henderson.

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