We need a marksman - Izzet

COLCHESTER United midfielder Kem Izzet believes that the difference between the U's, and the top teams in League One, is the lack of a regular goalscorer.

Carl Marston

COLCHESTER United midfielder Kem Izzet believes that the difference between the U's, and the top teams in League One, is the lack of a regular goalscorer.

Izzet confessed that Leeds posed the greater attacking threat during Saturday's 1-0 home defeat, even though their 31-goal top scorer Jermaine Beckford suffered an off-day in front of goal.

Only winger Mark Yeates (10 league goals) has reached double-figures for the U's this season, which is a chief reason for the 10-point gap between themselves and the play-off zone.

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“On our day, I think we are better than most teams in this division. We are just lacking in consistency,” explained Izzet.

“We've played most of the teams towards the top of the table over the last few weeks, and I don't think there is much to choose between them. They are all fairly equal.

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“What stands them apart from the rest is that all the top six sides have got regular goalscorers. That makes a big difference.

“They have the players who can stick the ball in the back of the net, and we haven't quite had that. I'm not just blaming the forwards, because the midfielders should also be chipping in with goals, and we haven't done that enough this season,” added Izzet.

Over the last few weeks, the U's have faced leaders Leicester City (1-1 draw), third-placed Millwall (1-0 win) and sixth-placed Scunthorpe (3-0 defeat), as well as Leeds. They also have second-placed Peterborough to entertain later this month.

Most of these promotion-chasing clubs can boast strikers with more than 20 goals to their name, such as Matty Fryatt (Leicester), Beckford (Leeds), Craig Mackail-Smith (Peterborough) and Gary Hooper (Scunthorpe).

The U's cause has certainly not been helped by all the injuries to their club record signing, Steven Gillespie, but they must surely unearth a regular marksman if they are to push for promotion next season.

“Leeds were better than us on the day, in terms of the final third,” continued Izzet. “We had two good chances before they scored, and in fact we started well. But in the end, we fell a little bit short. If we had scored the first goal, then it would have been a totally different game.

“It's also disappointing with the manner in which we are giving goals away. It's down to us to rectify this.

“Leeds dominated us in the first half, but when we went to 4-4-2, I thought that me and Deano (Dean Hammond) just shaded it (in midfield) in the second half, although perhaps Leeds took their foot off the pedal a bit.

“Leeds stifled the game in the second half. They had two chances late on, but I think it was a frustrating game for everyone.”

Izzet has been in the U's 16-man squad for all except two games this season, which is again testimony to his own terrific consistency. Only winger Yeates can match that record.

And the 28-year-old, who is the U's longest-serving player, was delighted to see a record crowd cram into the Community Stadium, although he knows that it will be difficult to coax everyone back.

He said: “It was lovely to see a full house and it's up to us to get these fans coming back. I hope they keep returning. Even though it was a big crowd, I didn't really hear the fans because it was one of those games where you had to work so hard. I didn't even hear the Leeds fans much, unless there was a stoppage in play.

“We have five games remaining, and we will be trying to get as many points as we can. We have some mentally tough players who will keep going until the end,” concluded Izzet.

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