Walker may stay longer

JIMMY Walker still believes that he can play at the highest level, but he hasn't ruled out staying at Colchester United for longer then his initial two-month stay.

Carl Marston

JIMMY Walker still believes that he can play at the highest level, but he hasn't ruled out staying at Colchester United for longer then his initial two-month stay.

The experienced keeper has played a big part in the U's recent charge up the League One table, conceding just seven goals in eight matches since his loan move from West Ham.

And with Robert Green showing no signs of his losing his No. 1 tag at Upton Park, Walker could well prolong his spell with the U's, especially if the play-offs remain a possibility.

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“I hadn't played a game in anger for virtually two years, until I came to Colchester!” confirmed Walker yesterday.

“I needed to start playing competitively again. It's not the same, being on the bench or being stuck in the reserves. You miss that feeling of going out and enjoying winning matches.

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“The timing was right for me. I played virtually every game when fit during my 10 years at Walsall (475 games), and I got into the West Ham side halfway through my first season (2004-05) with them. We ended up getting promoted.

“But then I missed a year with injury, and it's been very in-and-out since then. I was champing at the bit to play, when Paul Lambert (Colchester manager) gave me a ring.

“Robert Green's form has been fantastic, so I didn't even have the sniff of a chance for two years. It was difficult, because you couldn't let out any aggression when it came to the weekend. Sitting on the bench is a hard place to be,” added Walker.

The second month of Walker's loan spell ends on February 7, but that still amounts to five more games, starting with tomorrow's trip to Bristol Rovers.

Ironically, if Walker does extend his stay with the U's still further, then the following fixture would bring back happy memories for him - Walsall away on Valentine's Day!

“We will have to wait and see what happens after the loan ends. There are a couple of big weeks coming up, with some hard games and a lot of road miles,” continued Walker. The U's travel to Carlisle the following weekend.

“Colchester is a great place to play football. We have a good team spirit here, and long may that continue!

“I've been very fortunate. I understand that the lads had been suffering a hangover from last season's relegation, and that this affected them early on in the season.

“But I haven't noticed anything since I've been here. Northampton away (2-1 win) was my first game, and we've really dug in since then.

“I'd still like to play at the highest level, and I think I have a good chance. But we might try to sort something out here.

“There's no point in just milling around at this level, and Colchester seem to be a club who are going places. I like that.

“The (West Ham) manager (Gaianfranco Zola) is happy for me to be playing well at Colchester. The Premier League is great, but it's hard when you are one of three goalkeepers vying for one position. It's a big ask, but we could still be pushing for the play-offs,” concluded Walker.

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