Williams could keep his place

COLCHESTER United boss John Ward has dropped a big hint that keeper Ben Williams could remain in the team ahead of tomorrow’s League One visit of Huddersfield.

The U’s reigning player of the season recovered from a pre-season ankle injury weeks ago but was kept out of the side by the impressive form of stand-in Mark Cousins.

Ward swapped his keepers for Tuesday night’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy match against Wycombe though, with the U’s slipping to a disappointing 2-0 defeat to League Two opposition.

Williams couldn’t really be blamed for either goal, the 28-year-old left wide open by a failed offside trap for the first and beaten on the rebound after making a good save for the second. More importantly, he reminded U’s fans of his breathtaking form of last season with one fine second-half save.

Ward has previously been very quick to state that Cousins would keep the shirt while he continued to play well, but now admits he now has a tough decision to make.

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“Choosing your goalkeeper is always going to be an issue when you’ve got two with the quality of Ben and Mark who are both fit,” said the U’s boss.

“We’ve now got a tough game on Saturday and I’m looking at putting out the best possible team that I can pick. I’ve got some big decisions to make because Huddersfield are a very good side.”

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Essex-born Cousins sat on the bench nearly 50 times last season as summer signing Williams produced a string of man-of-the-match displays and kept 17 clean sheets in all competitions.

But Cousins, 23, has gone from strength to strength during his 12-game spell in the side, recovering well from a nightmare evening at Sunderland in the Carling Cup to produce a match-winning performance in the 0-0 draw at Southampton.

Ward could be handed a triple boost for tomorrow’s visit of Huddersfield after defenders Tom Williams (calf), Paul Reid (leg) and Brian Wilson (ankle) all returned to training.

“I’m going to have to delay naming my team until Saturday so I can see how they are,” said Ward, whose side will be playing their fifth game in 15 days. “I’ll also have to look at how the likes of Anthony Wordsworth, Magnus Okuonghae and John White are doing because they’ve played a lot of football recently.”

– For a two-page preview of the U’s v Huddersfield see tomorrow’s EADT

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