Watt and Sears see specialists

Freddie Sears and Sanchez Watt

Freddie Sears and Sanchez Watt - Credit: Richard Blaxall

The long-term, as well as the short-term, fitness of both Freddie Sears and Sanchez Watt is up in the air following specialist appointments yesterday.

Colchester United’s attacking duo both missed Tuesday night’s 4-1 defeat at Dagenham & Redbridge, in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, and there is no guarantee that they will return for this Sunday’s away game against Coventry City.

In fact, manager Joe Dunne is sweating on their long-term fitness, because front-runner Sears (groin problem) and winger Watt (swollen ankle) have been playing with these injuries for virtually the whole of the first month of this campaign.

Dunne might have to do without them this weekend, but he does not want be without two such crucial players for the next few weeks. Otherwise, he will need to dip into the loan transfer market when the window reopens next Tuesday.

As revealed in Wednesday’s East Anglian Daily Times, the U’s have a potential eight absentees for Sunday’s game against Coventry, which is to be played at Northampton Town’s Sixfields Stadium.

Centre-half Magnus Okuonghae is suspended, and it looks as though Sears, Watt and fellow attacker Gavin Massey (tweaked hamstring) will also miss out.

Striker Clinton Morrison (hamstring) is also a big doubt, although Dunne is hopeful that full-backs Ryan Dickson (ill) and Brian Wilson (sore calf) will pass late fitness tests, together with winger Drey Wright, who missed the midweek trip to Dagenham with a calf problem.

Most Read

“A couple are seeing specialists today,” revealed Dunne, with reference to Watt and Sears during yesterday’s press conference.

“There will be no in-betweens with them. If the news comes back positive, then Sunday beckons for them both.

“But if it’s negative, and the news is not good, then they will be out for two, three or even four weeks.

“That would then mean I’d have to speak to chairman about the possibility of adding to the squad.

“With Sanchez and Freddie, I’m looking long term, not just this Sunday. They have featured in virtually every game.

“I’ll just have to deal with it, when I get the news. And the same goes for Gavin Massey on that score as well,” added Dunne.

Despite Okuonghae’s absence, due to his red card at Dagenham, the U’s should be able to cope in defence against a free-scoring Coventry side – the Sky Blues are League One’s top scorers with 16 goals from five matches.

Josh Thompson is the obvious choice to replace Okuonghae, to play alongside Tom Eastman, while Dickson and Wilson should recover to operate at full-back.

But it is on the wings, and up front, where Dunne’s main headches lie.

“I hope to get most of them out in some capacity this Sunday, and then reassess next week,” continued Dunne.

“But I only have 10 outfield players training this morning, although at least Sunday’s game gives us that extra 24 hours, which helps.

“It’s the forward area of the pitch where we are feeling the effects. We are struggling there. I may have to address it next week, if necessary.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter