Ward slams JPT rules

COLCHESTER United boss John Ward has slammed the rules of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy ahead of tonight’s second round visit of Wycombe Wanderers.

With this being the Essex club’s fourth game of five in a gruelling 15-day schedule, Ward had been hoping to rotate his squad against League Two opposition.

However, the rules of the JPT – a competition that involves the teams from the bottom two tiers of the Football League and ends with a showpiece final at Wembley – state that clubs must play at least six first team regulars.

Ward, whose unbeaten League One side host Huddersfield on Saturday, explained: “I’ve got to play six players who either played today or who will play next Saturday.

“If we don’t then it’s a �5,000 fine, which I find incredible.

“You don’t have to do that in the Carling Cup and the teams that play in this competition have much smaller squads than those at a higher level.

“The ability to rest people at the moment is paramount because we are in the middle of a five-game programme in 15 days.

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“We’ve got a big game next weekend and I don’t really need someone telling me what team to play.

“I don’t really understand why they’ve scheduled these games this week either when there was a better slot a couple of weeks ago when the fixture list wasn’t as busy.”

Tonight’s game kicks off at the slightly earlier time of 7.30pm. Ticket prices have been reduced significantly for the match.

– For full match preview see today’s EADT.

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