The U’s will NOT be signing Richard Wright

COLCHESTER United boss John Ward has confirmed his decision to install Mark Cousins as his first-choice keeper for next season, despite reports linking ex-Ipswich Town custodian Richard Wright with the Essex club.

Any rumours that ex-England keeper Wright could be joining the U’s, following his quickfire departure from Preston, were put to bed by Ward.

Wright officially joined Preston on July 1, but he failed to settle in the area and the 34-year-old made the bold decision to leave Deepdale, quoting “home-sickness” as the main reason.

The experienced Wright, who played 298 games for Ipswich during the first of three spells at Portman Road, is therefore on the look-out for a new club again.

Ward insisted: “I have spoken to Mark (Cousins) and he will start the season as our No 1. He deserves his chance.

“I wanted to keep Ben Williams, because he is a good keeper, but the goalkeeping situation has not changed in my eyes. I have three good keepers in Mark, Carl Pentney and Shaun Phillips, and I am fine with that.”

Ward remains in the market for new players, specifically another senior striker and also a replacement for Magnus Okuonghae at centre-half.

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The U’s begin their pre-season campaign with a friendly at Heybridge Swifts on Saturday.

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