Platt suffers as more games are off

NO ONE has suffered more over the two recent postponements than Colchester United's target man, Clive Platt.The U's big striker is desperate to return to action, after missing last weekend's long but successful trip to Carlisle United.

Carl Marston

NO ONE has suffered more over the two recent postponements than Colchester United's target man, Clive Platt.

The U's big striker is desperate to return to action, after missing last weekend's long but successful trip to Carlisle United. The U's triumphed 2-0.

Platt served a one-match suspension, for accruing five bookings, but was hoping for a quickfire return this week, with the promise of a midweek jaunt to Millwall and a home fixture against Stockport County today.


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However, the wintry weather won the day on both counts. At least the games were postponed well in advance, to prevent any unnecessary journeys, but this was of scant consolation for Platt.

“I'm itching to get back into it,” insisted Platt, who has bagged five goals this season.

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“I missed the Carlisle trip through suspension, which I suppose wasn't a bad one to miss because it's a long trip and the lads did well.

“They flew up and got the three points, to keep our great run going. I was looking to getting back for the Millwall game, and then this weekend, but I'll now have to wait a little longer.”

The U's terrific recent run, which has featured just one defeat in 12 league games, has been full of highs. A haul of 27 points from a possible 36 has seen them leave the relegation zone far behind, and even contemplate a late dash for the play-offs.

In fact, it could have been even better! The U's were especially disappointed not to win at MK Dons a month ago, where Platt scored against his old club. The 10-man Dons came back to rescue a 1-1 draw.

Platt continued: “We think that we're capable of beating any teams in this league, and we're proving it. We have got that winning habit now, and we intend to keep it.

“A few months ago, players on opposing teams were coming up to me, at the end of a match, to say that they couldn't believe where we were in the league, because of all the quality players in the squad.

“We have always talked about the class and quality at the club, but we were not getting the results. Yet now most teams are looking at us in a different way!” added Platt.

Thursday was a good day for both current manager Paul Lambert, and former boss Geraint Williams.

Lambert scooped the League One manager-of-the-month for January, thanks to three wins and two draws in five matches, while Williams was officially appointed the new manager of League One rivals Leyton Orient.

The U's really struggled under Williams during the first couple of months of this season. The Welshman left with United stuck in the relegation zone, but Platt reckons that the 47-year-old will make a favourable impression at Brisbane Road.

“I wish George (Geraint Williams) all the best in his new job,” insisted Platt.

“It was Johnnie Jackson who told me the news in the car on the way to the ground (on Thursday morning). George is a great bloke and a lovely guy.

“He's a football man through-and-through, and he deserves to be in the game. Things in the end didn't quite work out for him at Colchester, but I'm sure that he will learn from some of the mistakes that he made here.

“It's great news, and I hope that he does well at Leyton Orient,” added Platt.

Yet the U's are going great guns under his successor, Lambert, and Platt believes that the Scotsman has had a big say in the U's upturn in fortunes.

“I think that everyone is working more off the ball, as well as on it, under the new gaffer,” said Platt.

“We are working harder and there is more of a team ethic. I think we were more isolated earlier in the season.

“In the past, just one of us would go for the ball, but now two or three of us are trying to win it. We are a lot harder team to beat now.

“Our defence has stepped up well, but the team as a whole is also defending a lot better. We are grinding out results when not playing that well.

“Mentally, we are also stronger. We don't want to get beat.

“It was important to finally get our first back-to-back wins (end of November). That got us on the start of this run, and who knows where it will take us?”

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