Tosin eyes up return to Colchester United starting XI

Tosin Olufemi

Tosin Olufemi - Credit: Archant

Tosin Olufemi is eager to make up for lost time, but faces a battle to regain his place in the Colchester United starting line-up.

Olufemi had enjoyed a dream start to this season, on the back of signing a three-year extension to his contract over the summer.

With his U’s future guaranteed until 2016, Olufemi was thrown in at the deep end due to defensive casualties at the start of this term.

But after five senior outings, the 20-year-old was laid low by a niggling quad injury that he struggled to shake off.

He is now, finally, back to full health and looking to make an impact as the U’s enter the all-important festive period.

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“I had a good start to the season, but the injury has been a setback for me,” admitted Olufemi.

“I’ve had a few niggles. I took a little knock to my quad, during a training session. I thought I’d be back quickly, but it’s taken longer than expected.

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“I’m now trying to get my fitness back, but I’m feeling good.”

The versatile Olufemi, a product of the U’s Academy, was not expected to feature heavily for Joe Dunne’s men during the opening weeks of the campaign.

But he ended up starting three games in a crazy 11-day period, all in different positions.

Having made his full debut in the 1-1 draw against Carlisle, out of position at left-back, due to Ryan Dickson’s mystery virus, Olufemi then deputised for Brian Wilson at right-back in the next game, a 2-1 home defeat by Leyton Orient.

The following Tuesday (September 3), Olufemi was given yet another new role, this time on the right flank in a 4-1 mauling at Dagenham & Redbridge in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.

Another start, in the 2-0 defeat away to Coventry, was to prove Olufemi’s last appearance for 11 weeks, due to injury – he finally returned, as a 51st minute substitute for Gavin Massey, in the 1-1 draw at Preston on November 23.

“I need to get my sharpness back, but I’m feeling quite fit,” continued Olufemi, who played the full 90 minutes in the Essex Senior Cup tie against Billericay on Tuesday night, which the U’s won on penalties.

“I’ve got some games under my belt and I’m now trying to get back to where I was before I got injured.

“The aim is now to get my place back in the team, especially as this is a big month for the club.

“We’ve got all the Christmas games, and they are against teams around us in the table.

“We need to get as many points as we can on the board, to get away from the teams around us and get up the league.

“The next four games are good games for us to get into. The results might determine what happens to us for the rest of the season.”

The U’s have no game this weekend, due to their first round exit from the FA Cup at the hands of Sheffield United.

But they have some vital matches coming up later this month, against three of the bottom four teams in Notts County, Stevenage and Crewe.

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