Race on for U's to get new striker

THE race is on for Colchester United boss Geraint Williams to find a new striker.The U's entertain early relegation candidates Barnsley in the first Layer Road fixture of the season tomorrow.

By Carl Marston

THE race is on for Colchester United boss Geraint Williams to find a new striker.

The U's entertain early relegation candidates Barnsley in the first Layer Road fixture of the season tomorrow.

It is a good opportunity to rattle up a first win of the season, but the strike-force cupboard is looking a little bare!


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Target-man Clive Platt, who scored a dramatic late equaliser on his debut at Sheffield United last weekend, starts a three-match suspension this weekend, as punishment for being sent off for violent conduct in the pre-season game against Bolton.

Fellow strikers Kevin Lisbie and Jamie Guy are both struggling with injuries, so potentially that's three of the U's four senior strikers unavailable.

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Teddy Sheringham sat out the 1-0 defeat at Shrewsbury Town in the Carling Cup on Tuesday night, so the ex-England striker should be fresh to start against the Tykes. It will be his eagerly-awaited U's home debut.

But who will partner Sheringham? It is hoped that either Lisbie (sore ankle) or Guy (thigh problem) will pass a late fitness test to be involved, but there is no guarantee.

It's no surprise, then, that Williams has been trying to sign a new striker all this week.

The Welshman's only other options are to play one of his two wingers, Mark Yeates or Kevin McLeod, up front in a central role, but that didn't really work out at Shrewsbury.

Teenage striker Tom Webb came on as a late substitute to make his U's senior debut at the New Meadow, but it is asking a little too much for him to start making a big impression in the Championship so early in his career.

Williams will be keeping his fingers crossed that one of his many phone calls comes up trumps, paving the way for a new signing tomorrow. A loan deal looks the most likely option.

Otherwise, it might be time to take a gamble on the fitness of Lisbie, who has been making steady progress since turning his left ankle against Bolton.

Williams said: “I've been constantly on the phone, asking about players, and there maybe someone new up front. Clive (Platt) is suspended and we could still possibly be without other strikers, so I would like that extra body.”

Ironically, tomorrow's visitors Barnsley have signed a new striker this week. Manager Simon Davey has recruited Kim Christensen from Danish side OB for an undisclosed fee.

The 27-year-old Dane has signed a two-year contract, and the Tykes are hoping that he will be registered in time to feature at Layer Road. Amazingly, he is Davey's 11th new signing of the summer!

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