The big interview: Colchester United’s Richard Brindley

Richard Brindley, cracking in a shot during the U's 1-0 win at Luton Town on Boxing Day, is hoping t

Richard Brindley, cracking in a shot during the U's 1-0 win at Luton Town on Boxing Day, is hoping to feature against the Hatters in the home match tomorrow. Picture: PAGEPIX

Fit-again Richard Brindley insists that it is how Colchester United finish the campaign that “matters the most,” going into the final eight games of the regular season.

Richard Brindley is felled by Plymouth's Graham Carey during the U's 2-1 defeat at Home Park from la

Richard Brindley is felled by Plymouth's Graham Carey during the U's 2-1 defeat at Home Park from last October. Brindley is targetting a strong finish to the season, with Plymouth one of the visitors to the Community Stadium next month. Picture: PAGEPIX

Brindley is pushing for a starting place, against Luton Town tomorrow, after making his return from a three-week absence – due to a calf injury – as a substitute during last weekend’s disappointing 2-0 defeat at lowly Crewe Alexandra.

Before his injury, experienced defender Brindley had been virtually ever-present in the league, having started the first 28 League Two matches of the season until sitting out the 2-1 home win over Barnet on February 11.

In fact, the 23-year-old played 32 of the first 33 league matches, until tweaking his calf and missing four fixtures, the away trips to Grimsby and Cambridge, and the home tussles with Portsmouth and Mansfield.

“I feel fit, and it’s good to be back,” insisted Brindley, following yesterday’s training session at Florence Park, Tiptree.

Fit-again Richard Brindley. Picture: STEVE WALLER

Fit-again Richard Brindley. Picture: STEVE WALLER - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

“It’s been a frustrating spell out with the calf issue. We thought it was only a minor strain, but it ended up being a little bit worse than we had thought, perhaps also due to a little bit of fatigue because I had already played so many matches during the season.

“I just needed a little rest to get over it, and now I’m looking forward to the rest of the season.

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“Hopefully, I have got a second wind and I can help the team to make the play-offs.

“Up until the injury, it had been a brilliant season for me. Delivering excellent performances is all I want to do.

“Now I’m focusing on reaching the play-offs. It’s how we finish the season that matters the most, and it’s a good feeling to be involved at the right end of the table,” added Brindley.

A specialist right-back, Brindley has also operated to good effect as a right wing-back this term – he relishes all the extra running up and down the flank.

Certainly, he has enjoyed this season’s push for a League Two play-off berth, as opposed to the two previous campaigns of struggle against relegation.

Initially arriving on loan from Rotherham, in March, 2015, Brindley helped the U’s to avoid relegation under manager Tony Humes, before signing a two-year deal that summer.

He was restricted to just 21 league appearances during last season’s relegation campaign, but has upped his overall U’s tally to the 54-mark this term.

In fact, should he feature tomorrow, then Brindley will rattle up 99 career appearances in the Football League, with the century likely to be brought up at Notts County on Saturday week.

“I haven’t been at the club for as many years as some of the lads, like Sam Walker and Tom Eastman, but I’ve still had two years of struggling with the threat of relegation,” continued Brindley.

“But as the gaffer (John McGreal) said to us – this year is a great opportunity for us all.

“The club has had years of fighting against relegation, but now we are looking towards the play-offs and promotion.

“That’s a great achievement, because it’s not as easy as you would think after you’ve been relegated. There’s a danger of just falling into the new league, after relegation.”

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