Reid set to follow Tierney out of U’s exit door
PAUL Reid looks set to follow Marc Tierney out of Colchester United to leave manager John Ward desperately searching for defensive reinforcements.
The U’s have received an offer for experienced centre-back Reid from struggling Championship club Scunthorpe – believed to be a six-figure sum.
And with the 28-year-old set to be out-of-contract in the summer it is likely that Colchester will cash in on a player who has struggled with a string of injuries over the past year.
Should that happen it will leave the Essex club desperately short of experienced defensive players ahead of a run of quickfire games against their promotion rivals.
Left-back Marc Tierney signed for Norwich yesterday, right-back Brian Wilson isn’t likely to return from an ankle injury for a few more weeks, while a specialist yesterday ruled that Magnus Okuonghae’s ankle is far from being healed.
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U’s boss Ward has already signed a left-back in this month’s transfer window – Irishman Conor Powell was a free transfer from League of Ireland side Bohemians – but says the 23-year-old is still some way from peak fitness due to the fact his last competitive game was last October.
“I’ve tried to stabilise with a loan player for the next month or so but at this moment in time that’s not going to happen for Friday (home game against Bournemouth),” said Ward yesterday morning. Referring to Tierney’s left-back position he added: “It’s a position I think we need an established player in for the next little while at the very least.
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“Late last night (Wednesday) I got a bit of a knock back on a player I was hoping to get across and I’ve made a phone call this morning (Thursday) to another club about a different player I want to get in.
“If my latest phone call proves negative then I won’t chase anybody else, I’ll go into Bournemouth (tonight) with the group of players we have available and we’ll try our very best.”
Meanwhile, chairman Robbie Cowling has confirmed that any money received from outgoing transfers this month will go straight to manager Ward to bring in replacements.
Ward has signed eight players during his time in the hotseat – all of them free transfers or loan deals.
“I’ve said to John that any money we get will be available to him to strengthen the squad as and when he feels appropriate,” said Cowling.
“In the short-term it may seem like a step back but in the long-term it gives John (Ward) a chance to to put his own mark on this squad.
“I don’t think any club our size can get by without trading. We’ve got targets of our own and I think we’ll end up doing all right out of it.”
– For full match preview of tonight’s League One match between Colchester United and AFC Bournemouth, see today’s EADT.