Platt will be pleased when Lisbie signs

CLIVE Platt will be the happiest man at Layer Road when Kevin Lisbie finally puts pen to paper on a permanent contract.Target man Platt is looking forward to partnering Lisbie in Colchester United's front-line during the club's second ever campaign in the Championship.

By Carl Marston

CLIVE Platt will be the happiest man at Layer Road when Kevin Lisbie finally puts pen to paper on a permanent contract.

Target man Platt is looking forward to partnering Lisbie in Colchester United's front-line during the club's second ever campaign in the Championship.

The duo have struck up a good understanding in the U's four pre-season friendlies this month, and Platt chalked up his second goal of the summer campaign in the 1-1 draw against a Liverpool XI on Saturday, after Lisbie's initial header had been blocked.


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Ex-MK Dons striker Platt can't wait to get going in his first season of Championship football - he netted 18 goals in League Two with the Milton Keynes club last term - and he is just hoping that Lisbie completes his move to Layer Road over the next day or so.

“Kevin (Lisbie) has played at the highest level, and he's looking very sharp at the moment,” confirmed Platt, following his smart finish against Liverpool.

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“I think that we've already formed a decent partnership. It's a partnership that is likely to work. Kevin is a strong runner who also wins his share of headers.

“I've enjoyed playing alongside him, and I'm delighted to have scored a couple of goals (the first was a headed goal at Heybridge), although pre-season is not all about scoring goals.

“Instead, it's about settling in with the lads and getting to know everyone, and how they play,” added Platt.

The 6ft 4ins striker moved from the Dons to the U's in a £300,000 deal at the start of this month, and former Charlton front-runner Lisbie is poised to join him permanently over the next 24 hours. In fact, Jamaican international Lisbie could well complete the deal before tonight's pre-season friendly at Gillingham. The 28-year-old was released by the Addicks this summer, after 11 years as a professional at The Valley.

Meanwhile, Platt is relishing the prospect of Championship football, and of following in the footsteps of fellow target man Chris Iwelumo, who had such a productive two years with the U's before his move to Charlton this summer.

“I know that the two previous strikers (Iwelumo and Jamie Cureton) scored a lot of goals last season (combined total of 42). The team did really well, and now we have another challenge,” continued Platt.

“I always wanted to play at a higher level, and the MK Dons chairman (Peter Winkelman) always assured me that the club would not stand in my way if a Championship club came in for me. He proved to be true to his word.

“I'm looking forward to playing at Layer Road. It's a really tight ground, and it can be a bit intimidating. The crowd are on top of you, and we want to make the most of our home advantage.

“The pitch is also one of the best in the division. It's a terrific playing surface, and that should suit us. I scored a lot of my goals last season with headers. I really thrive on crosses into the box, and playing with two wingers (Kevin McLeod and Mark Yeates) really helps me.

“It's my job to get on the end of these crosses. It's all about timing, and getting into the box at the right time,” added Platt.

The U's remain unbeaten in pre-season, following a 3-0 win at Heybridge and draws at Cambridge United (1-1), Chelmsford City (0-0) and against a Liverpool XI (1-1).

Midfielder Kevin Watson (sore Achilles tendon) and summer recruit Teddy Sheringham (on the comeback trail after a calf problem) will both miss tonight's friendly at Priestfield.

Sheringham joined in training yesterday and could make his first appearance in a Colchester shirt when Premiership side Bolton Wanderers visit Layer Road this Saturday. This evening's game kicks off at 7.30pm. The Gills, who are managed by Ronnie Jepson, finished 16th in League One last season. They were beaten 5-0 by Charlton on Saturday.

Ex-Colchester defender Efe Sodje, who made just three appearances for the U's during Steve Whitton's era, is included in the Gillingham squad, as is striker Guylain Ndumbu-Nsungu, who played nine games for the U's in 2005.

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