‘We want to let off some steam’ – Colchester United striker Jabo Ibehre

Jabo Ibehre

Jabo Ibehre - Credit: Richard Blaxall/Blax Images

Jabo Ibehre has been plagued by injury, illness and the weather over a frustrating last few months.

But now Colchester United’s leading marksman is hoping that all the bad luck is behind him, as he prepares for a hectic last 10 weeks of the season.

Ibehre has always prided himself on his ability to play week in, week out, during a distinguished career, but the 31-year-old has endured a stop-start 2013-14.

A niggling hip injury has proved difficult to shake off, and a full-throttle comeback has been thwarted by a succession of postponements because of waterlogged pitches.

And last week, even though Ibehre was injury-free and the U’s game at Swindon Town passed two pitch inspections to get the go-ahead, the ex-Leyton Orient and MK Dons striker was laid-low by illness.

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No wonder, then, that six-goal Ibehre is desperate to play against promotion-chasing Preston this afternoon.

“We all just want to get back to playing football,” explained Ibehre.

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“We want to let off some steam, that’s for sure.

“At least there are plenty of games to look forward to. If we can pick up a few results, then confidence will grow, and I want to score lots of goals as well.

“You can sense it in the players sometimes, when you train all week and then there is a doubt about the game going ahead at the weekend.

“I’m feeling fine now. It’s been a long time, but I’m raring to go. I’ve had a little break and I’m looking forward to the next 20-odd games,” added Ibehre.

Target man Ibehre has not started a game since the goalless draw at MK Dons on New Year’s Day, but he will be vying with Clinton Morrison for a start up front against visiting Preston.

Ironically, Ibehre’s imminent return has coincided with winger Sanchez Watt starting the first of a three-match suspension, for the ex-Arsenal winger’s red card in the goalless draw at Swindon last Friday.

In fact, the duo have only started four games together all season!

“We will miss Sanchez,” confirmed Ibehre.

“I was looking forward to playing with him again, finally, and him getting some great crosses in for me.

“It’s unfortunate, but these things happen.

“Thankfully, we have a good squad of players to fill the void Sanchez has left. He has done well since he came back, but at least we won’t miss him for long, considering all the games we have coming up.”

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