Watson returns to first-team reckoning

KEVIN Watson made a further advance down the comeback trail by playing the bulk of Colchester United Reserves' fixture at Luton Town yesterday.Watson is yet to feature for the first team this season, after injuring his Achilles tendon in pre-season and then suffering a calf problem in the same leg.

By Carl Marston

KEVIN Watson made a further advance down the comeback trail by playing the bulk of Colchester United Reserves' fixture at Luton Town yesterday.

Watson is yet to feature for the first team this season, after injuring his Achilles tendon in pre-season and then suffering a calf problem in the same leg.

The U's experienced midfielder enjoyed an hour's action for the second string against .Norwich City last week, and yesterday afternoon he lasted for 75 minutes in a 3-3 draw at Kenilworth Road.

“It was another good work-out for Kevin (Watson) and the whole team. He's certainly getting there,” revealed U's boss Geraint Williams last night. Knowing Kevin, he will want to be part of the first-team squad now.

“We have three games in eight days over the next week.

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“Teddy (Sheringham) has also been back in training with the squad over the last couple of days. He stayed behind to do an intensive aerobic session with the rest of the squad. Kevin (McLeod) did the same,” added Williams.

While 33-year-old Watson is still waiting to make his first appearance of the season, Sheringham played the first five games before being sidelined by a hamstring injury.

Ex-England star Sheringham, 41, is unlikely to need an outing for the reserves before he makes his comeback, so U's fans will be hoping that he is able to figure against either West Brom this Saturday, or at East Anglian rivals Ipswich Town next Tuesday evening.

Former youth team regulars Tom Webb and Anthony Wordsworth (penalty) both scored against Luton's second string, with the other coming from an own goal.

It was the Reserves' fourth successive draw from four games this term, following the stalemates against Grays (0-0), Stevenage (1-1) and Norwich (2-2).

Yesterday's game was a particularly stern test for teenage defenders Nathan Speed and Ben Griffiths, who were up against two experienced attacking wide-men in ex-Colchester man Dean Morgan and Croatian Ahmet Brkovic.

“Both young lads coped really well,” confirmed Williams.

Meanwhile, the Championship's leading marksman, Kevin Phillips, is targeting a swift return to the West Brom team at Layer Road this Saturday.

Phillips netted six goals in seven league appearances before being sidelined with an ankle injury for the Baggies' recent games against Stoke and Southampton.

However, a precautionary scan has revealed no major problem with the ankle, so the 34-year-old has returned to full training and could even be fit to play against Colchester.