‘I am ready to start’ – U’s Saunders ahead of Oldham clash

Sam Saunders, pictured on his Colchester United debut at Cambridge United last weekend. Picture: RIC

Sam Saunders, pictured on his Colchester United debut at Cambridge United last weekend. Picture: RICHARD BLAXALL - Credit: Richard Blaxall

Sam Saunders has already won promotion with Dagenham & Redbridge, Brentford and Wycombe Wanderers, and he sees no reason why he can’t make it promotion No. 4 at his new club Colchester.

The 35-year-old midfielder, recruited as a free agent until the end of the season last week, acknowledges that the U’s youthfulness, and style of play, differs from most of his former clubs’ past successes. But he believes the same goal can be achieved.

“This team is very different, but there is more than one way to skin a cat,” explained Saunders.

“There’s a lot of ability in the squad, players with a lot of energy and a lot of legs around me, so that should all be a good mix.

“Just like when I got promoted with Brentford (to the Championship in 2013-14), there are a lot of good players here, although it was a bit different with my previous promotion at Dagenham & Redbridge (from the National League in 2006-07).

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“That was more ‘old school,’ making sure that we found a way to win every week.

“My promotion with Wycombe (to League One last season) was with an older, more experienced side, who knew how to win matches.

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“But this season is very different to last season.

“I was surprised with how loud and noisy the dressing room is here, from my very first day. Everyone is very bubbly, and even after the Tranmere home defeat (2-0 last Saturday week), everyone was still bubbly and in good spirits.

“That’s what you want, and in that way it reminds me of the teams I’ve been promoted with in the past.

“It’s just the young age of the squad, and the style of play, that is different,” added Saunders.

Having made his U’s debut as an 83rd minute substitute during last Saturday’s dramatic 1-0 win at Cambridge, Saunders could well make his full debut today, at home to Oldlham Athletic.

“I feel that I am ready to start this weekend, but that’s all down to the gaffer,” continued Saunders.

“I will respect the gaffer’s decision, and come off the bench if need be. It’s not about me, anyway, it’s all about Colchester United.”

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