Reid quickly back in the fray

PAUL Reid was thrown back into the first team fray quicker than he had imagined, due to an injury crisis against Yeovil on Tuesday night.

Carl Marston

Colchester soccer preview (with Reid pic)

By Carl Marston

PAUL Reid was thrown back into the first team fray quicker than he had imagined, due to an injury crisis against Yeovil on Tuesday night.

But the quickfire return did not faze Colchester United defender Reid, who was eager to regain his place after breaking a toe nearly six weeks ago.

The ex-Barnsley 26-year-old impressed during the second half of the 1-0 victory over Yeovil, which saw the U's leapfrog their opponents out of the relegation zone. He came on at half-time because of an injury to Phil Ifil.

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Now Reid will be looking to feature again this afternoon, especially as it involves a return to one of his former clubs - Northampton Town.

Reid initially had a loan spell at Sixfields from Glasgow Rangers during the second half of the 2002-03 campaign, before making the move permanent the following summer for a £100,000 fee. He made 42 appearances for the Cobblers in his one and only season.

He is in the squad for today's tricky test at Northampton, although competition for places is hotting up because full-backs John White and Phil Ifil are both hopeful of being fit.

Reid explained: “It's been a frustrating few weeks for me. I'm certainly not the best patient!”

“I broke my big toe during the first 10 minutes of the match against Millwall last month, by kicking the bottom of someone's boot.

“It felt very sore at the time, and then began to swell up. I was on pain-killers and went off for an X-ray, which confirmed the break.

“Even though I was effectively out of action for four weeks, I was able to keep up my fitness with a lot of work on the bike.

“I was pleased to be on the bench against Yeovil, but didn't expect to get on. However, more injury problems conspired against us. I could have perhaps done with a game for the reserves, but I was always desperate to play, and that worked in my favour.

“It's amazing how many injuries we have had in the last couple of weeks, especially to defenders. Matt (Heath) got injured at Peterborough and Phil Ifil had a problem against Yeovil, so suddenly I was off the bench to play the second half.

“None of the injuries are long term, and we've coped quite well. We have a decent squad,” added Reid.

Carlisle-born Reid can operate either as a centre-half or defensive midfielder. To date, his 13 outings for the U's have been in defence.

He teamed up with Chris Coyne for the second half against Yeovil, with Pat Baldwin shifting to right-back. Manager Paul Lambert might stick with that system today, although he could revert to the Baldwin-Coyne duo.

New signing Marc Tierney, recruited on loan from Shrewsbury Town on Thursday, should start at left-back.

“I hadn't played alongside Chris (Coyne) much in matches, but we're well experienced playing together in training,” continued Reid.

“It was good to keep a clean-sheet; that was very satisfying. We didn't play that well, but at least we got the win.

“To get more fans coming back, we need to keep winning and that will usually result in a team playing more attractive football.

“I think our current position in the table is a false one, but I don't like to go on about that, because the table doesn't lie after so many games,” added Reid.

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