Watson 'gutted' to miss out
KEVIN Watson is “gutted” that he won't be making his first-ever appearance at Leeds United tomorrow.Colchester United's experienced midfielder has played at most grounds in the Football League during a distinguished career.
By Carl Marston
KEVIN Watson is “gutted” that he won't be making his first-ever appearance at Leeds United tomorrow.
Colchester United's experienced midfielder has played at most grounds in the Football League during a distinguished career. Elland Road is one of the few that he hasn't graced, and injury will rob him of that chance this weekend.
Having started the first 14 games of the season, Watson has been sidelined for the last three fixtures with a tight calf. He began running again for the first time yesterday but the U's first ever league meeting with Leeds comes too soon for the former Reading favourite.
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“I've just started running again for the first time, which is pleasing. I'll do some more running while the lads are away at Leeds, after which I hope to return to training on Monday,” revealed Watson last night.
“It's frustrating, because I really wanted to play at Leeds. I've never played at Elland Road, so I'm gutted.
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“But there would have been no sense in me hurrying back too soon. I tried that with a similar calf injury while at Reading, and that ended up keeping me out for several months, because the injury kept flaring up. I hadn't strengthened the calf enough.
“I would hope to be involved in following weekend, which is another big away game at Sunderland,” added Watson.
U's boss Geraint Williams selected the same 10 outfield players for nine games in a row, until both Watson and Richard Garcia (ankle injury) hobbled off during the first half of the 2-1 defeat at Coventry City.
Garcia, like Watson, has missed the last three games. The Australian has just returned to training after his ankle injury, although he too is unlikely to feature at Elland Road.
However, their two replacements have both caught the eye. Johnnie Jackson has come in for Watson in central midfield, while Kevin McLeod has been given a chance on the flank in the absence of Garcia.
Watson continued: “There was a concern that the squad was not big enough to cope with some injuries, and to be honest it's good that there aren't more than the two at the moment.
“The lads who have come in have done a good job. Johnno (Jackson) has been very good in midfield, as has Macco (McLeod) on the wing. He's scored a couple of priceless goals for us as well.
“Some might say that we have been over-achieving but not us. We have got 24 points from 16 games and no one has outplayed us or battered us. We have played against 16 different teams and when we have lost it's only been by the odd goal.
“Of course, Leeds away will be a very tough game, no matter where they are in the league (23rd spot). The lads are no under illusion about what will be required to get a result at Elland Road.
“Their new manager, Dennis Wise, won his first game in charge (2-0 against Southend), although he then lost his next one (4-1 at Preston). But Leeds are back at home again, so we must be wary. However, we have nothing to fear,” added Watson.