Platt heaps praise on Lambert

COLCHESTER United marksman Clive Platt has paid tribute to manager Paul Lambert for the U's dramatic upturn in fortunes over the last three months.

Carl Marston

COLCHESTER United marksman Clive Platt has paid tribute to manager Paul Lambert for the U's dramatic upturn in fortunes over the last three months.

Fresh from scoring against his old club MK Dons on Monday night, in a 1-1 draw at stadium:mk, Platt gave Lambert full credit for United's current cosy position in mid-table.

The Dons had sealed the fate of previous U's manager Geraint Williams on September 20, by coasting to a 3-0 win at the Community Stadium, but the Buckinghamshire club played second fiddle to the U's for much of Monday night's televised contest.

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Lambert was officially appointed as Williams' successor in mid-October, since when the U's have pulled away from the relegation zone and into the top half of the table.

“You have to give the manager (Lambert) every credit for our run of form,” insisted Platt.

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“He's changed our style of play, and he's stopped making us such a soft touch. He's made it work for us.

“The proof is there for all to see, because we have been shooting up the league.

“Who knows how far we can go this season. We've just played a team second in the league and we've been the better team,” added Platt.

Target man Platt neatly diverted home Mark Yeates' 12th minute cross to silence the Dons' faithful, although that didn't stop the home fans giving the 31-year-old a terrific ovation when he was substituted midway through the second period.

Platt had two-and-a-half good years with the Dons, and he is still much appreciated. His determination to play on Monday night was summed up by the fact that he had undergone a minor operation, to remove a wire from his fractured left hand, just a few hours before kick-off.

The U's were denied victory by Aaron Wilbraham's 66th minute equaliser, just five minutes after the Dons had been reduced to 10 men with Jason Puncheon's sending off.

Platt felt slightly hard done by: “We're very disappointed not to have got all three points,” confessed the U's striker.

“We let two points slip away. We dominated and had other chances to get the second goal, but sometimes the opposition going down to 10 men can count against you.

“They started to play a bit and the decision seemed to spur them on. The red card gave them a lift, while we felt that we should have won the game against 10 men and with a 1-0 lead.

“But at least the result keeps our run going. We don't want to let up. We have come a very long way already.

“It's the first time I've been back to the Dons, and I was desperate to play well, even though I had only had the wire out in the morning, and hadn't trained much because of my fractured hand.

“We had chances to win it late on. Gilly (Steven Gillespie) could have got us the winner, but it wasn't an easy chance because the ball was coming across him. He'll get sharper and sharper with every game,” added Platt.

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