‘Where did I leave my shooting boots?’ – Antonio

PRACTICE makes perfect – so says Michail Antonio.

PRACTICE makes perfect – so says Michail Antonio.

Colchester United’s flying winger does not need to sharpen up his speed-work, but even he admits that he needs to improve his shooting.

Crowd pleaser Antonio, who extended his loan spell from Reading for another month before Tuesday night’s 1-1 draw at Brentford, has been happy with his general form over the last month, but not his accuracy in front of goal.

The 21-year-old wants to put that record straight, ahead of tomorrow’s trip to second-placed Sheffield United, which is why he has chosen to stay behind after training, and lace up his shooting boots.

“I am a very attack-minded player, and I love to get at defenders, but I haven’t been happy with my shooting,” confessed Antonio before yesterday’s training session.

“I consider scoring goals to be a big part of my game, so I’m going to have to get back out onto the training ground to practise my shooting.

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“I should be scoring more goals than I am. At Reading we used to practise our shooting more after training, so that’s what I will be doing over the next few days,” added Antonio.

The U’s winger was off-target with his shooting at Griffin Park on Tuesday night, blasting a couple of long-range efforts high and wide during the first half.

He fired over early on, and then lacked composure when miscuing a lay-off from Ian Henderson just before half-time. In fact, the Brentford draw was probably his least effective game in a Colchester shirt.

Manager John Ward introduced substitute Steven Gillespie for Antonio just after the hour mark, but that should mean he is fresh and raring to go at Bramall Lane.

He certainly did not have to think long-and-hard before agreeing to sign for a second month on loan with the U’s.

“I’ve played six games, and I think I have fitted in well,” explained Antonio.

“I’ve done OK for the team, the gaffer (Ward) has treated me well and Reading are pleased that I am getting games.

“The gaffer approached me on Monday and asked me whether I would like to extend the loan. I said ‘yes’ straight away. I was not getting in the squad at Reading, and I’m loving the battles that you get in League One. It’s a very competitive league,” concluded Antonio.

London-born Antonio scored seven goals in 39 league and cup appearances during a seven-month loan spell at Southampton in 2009-10, and has so far bagged one in six for Colchester, following his close-range header in the 3-2 defeat at Huddersfield.

Ward could name an unchanged team for tomorrow’s trip to Sheffield United. John-Joe O’Toole, who was sent off for serious foul play after coming on as a substitute at Brentford, will serve the first of a three-match suspension.

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