Ward: Perfect end to hectic week
COLCHESTER United boss John Ward says tonight’s 2-1 win over high-flying Bournemouth was a great end to a hectic week.
The U’s have seen defenders Marc Tierney and Paul Reid leave for Championship clubs Norwich and Scunthorpe respectively in the last few days, but their makeshift side showed bags of spirit to secure a superb come-from-behind win in front of the Sky cameras.
“It’s a great night after a hectic week for this football club,” said Ward.
“We’ve had two players move on to a higher level and we wish them well, but it’s an opportunity for others and they have taken it tonight.
“What pleased me more than anything is that we didn’t feel sorry for ourselves after going behind. We kept trying to pass and play the right way.”
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The U’s boss reserved special praise for Gillespie – who scored twice in eight minutes having gone just over a year without a goal – and debutant Ben Coker after the victory, the latter handed his first ever Football League appearance just 90 minutes before kick-off after John White failed a fitness test after suffering a back injury in training.
Ward said: “Ben Coker has done brilliantly in his first ever Football League game and Steven (Gillespie) has come back in the way everyone would have hoped.
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“I’ve watched Steven Gillespie over the last two or three weeks and I thought he’d done enough to get himself to the front of the queue in terms of sub strikers.
“He’s done well tonight but he’s got to stay fit and strong now and keep that going because Kayode (Odejayi) has also come on and done well.
“He’ (Gillespie) is a goalscorer but he’s not done enough at this football club and this is last chance saloon now for him with his contract running out.”
Meanwhile, the U’s boss added that while he is scouring the transfer market he won’t rush into making any panic replacement buys this month, especially as he has already signed Irishman Conor Powell and Icelandic international Matth�as Vilhj�lmsson.
“I am trying to improve what we’ve got but I’m not going to rush into any crazy decisions. If I get players in they will have to improve what we’ve got.”
– For report, reaction and an interview with new signing Matth�as Vilhj�lmsson, see Saturday’s EADT.