Tierney left hurt by injury conspiracies

COLCHESTER United left-back Marc Tierney has today spoken of his hurt at the conspiracy theories surrounding his unavailability for the team’s last two games and declared ‘I haven’t spoken to any clubs’.

The 25-year-old’s passionate displays have made him a firm favourite with U’s supporters over the last two-and-a-half seasons, but an unresolved contract situation left many suspicious that Tierney could be on his way out after he missed last Saturday’s game against Charlton with a dead leg and then pulled out of Monday’s clash at Leyton Orient on the morning of the game with what was described as ‘a sore throat’ by U’s boss John Ward.

“I can assure all Colchester fans that both of my problems have been genuine,” inisted Tierney.

“Kayode Odejayi will vouch for how bad my dead leg was because it was him who accidentaly clashed with me in an 11-a-side training match just before Christmas. He’s a big lad so you can imagine the bruising on that!

“That was still just hindering my sprinting for the Charlton game but I was all set to play in the Leyton Orient game which was one I was really looking forward to because they’re only down the road and it’s a good rivalry.

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“I’d felt a little under the weather last week and also had a bit of a sore hamstring but I was ready to play through that. I started to feel unwell on Sunday evening though and could feel myself deteriorating through the night. I got a message to Tony Flynn (Colchester physio) at 5.30 in the morning and when I got up I knew I wouldn’t be able to play.

“I can assure everyone it was much worse than a sore throat and can only assume it was a case of crossed wires or mis-communication that led to it being reported that way.

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“It’s more of a virus which seems to be going round at the moment, with Kem Izzet and Pat Baldwin also missing the games at the weekend with something similar. David Perkins missed some training last week with it too. It just takes all your energy, leaves you feeling lethargic and your muscles aching and I have lost a bit of weight with it.”

U’s boss Ward admitted at the weekend that he has received some tentative inquiries about Tierney, who is due to be out-of-contract in the summer. The Manchester-born defender has rejected initial terms for a new deal at the U’s claiming that, while he is settled in the area and loves the club, he is trying to get the best possible deal for his young family.

With the contract situation still unresolved, Tierney is now free to start talks with any interested clubs over a potential Bosman free transfer move at the end of the season.

Championship clubs Coventry and Norwich (managed by former U’s bosses Aidy Boothroyd and Paul Lambert respectively) have been strongly linked with his signature and should they, or any others, make a bid this month then Colchester would have to decide whether to cash in now or lose him for nothing in the summer.

A contract extension at the U’s is still not out of the question though with Tierney saying that he will leave negotiations down to his agent while simply concentrating on getting back into the team – possibly as soon as Saturday’s FA Cup third round match at Championship club Swansea.

“Anyone who knows me will know that I don’t make a fuss of injuries,” said the tough-tackling defender. “I came back from a dislocated shoulder in three weeks, while I’ve twice been ready after hernia surgery withing 10 days.

“The timing of this has just been unfortunate. I realise that it has fuelled some conspiracy theories and rumours and I can understand why that is, but at the same time I am disappointed.

“I always put my body on the line and run myself into the ground for Colchester United whenever I play, so it does hurt to think that people might think I’m making up injuries or excuses.

“I have always been linked with Paul Lambert and Aidy Boothroyd ever since they both left the club, but that’s natural because they both liked me as a player and I won personal accolades under them.

“I’ve not spoken to any other managers though and as far as I’m concerned I’m in the same boat as the rest of the players that could be out-of-contract in the summer – I need to be in the team and playing well to earn what I want.

“I’m just going to let my representative talk to the club about the contract and try not to get too distracted. John (Ward) and I get on fantastically and (chairman) Robbie Cowling has been nothing but brilliant with me.

“Hopefully this will get resolved soon one way or another. In the meantime I’m just concentrating on getting fit again and getting back in the team, possibly as soon as the weekend.”

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