Yeates desperate for Championship return

MARK Yeates wants to get back into the Championship as quickly as possible, but that doesn't mean to say he is planning a move away from Colchester United this summer.

Carl Marston

MARK Yeates wants to get back into the Championship as quickly as possible, but that doesn't mean to say he is planning a move away from Colchester United this summer.

Yeates marked his long-awaited return to competitive action with a brace of goals in the U's 6-1 victory at Heybridge Swifts on Saturday, and he is set for another run-out in the U's third pre-season friendly at Woking his evening.

The Irishman had been sidelined since the beginning of February, after dislocating a shoulder that required an operation, and was also linked with a move to Championship club Crystal Palace last month. That deal fell through due to a failed medical.


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But whereas team-mates Kevin Lisbie (to Ipswich), Karl Duguid (to Plymouth) and Kevin McLeod (to Brighton) have all moved on, Yeates is still very much a Colchester player. The question is - will he still be a U's player at the start of the season?

"All I can say is that I'm here and I'm looking forward to the new season," revealed Yeates.

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"I want to get back to playing Championship football as quickly as possible, and there's no reason why that can't be done with promotion at Colchester. I'm not sure what's going to happen just yet, but I'm delighted to be playing again.

"It's been such a long time, nearly six months. You're always happy to play your first game after a comeback, and it was nice to cap it with a couple of goals. I felt good.

"I had missed the previous game (at Tiptree) because of blisters. They were caused by new boots, but that's not a problem now," added Yeates, who scored the fifth and six goals at Scraley Road.

Manager Geraint Williams said: "Mark's ability is undoubted and he gives us that effervescence, that sparkle.

"He gives us something different and he scored a couple of excellent goals. In fact, he should have got a hat-trick."

New recruits Steven Gillespie (thigh problem) and Paul Reid (sore neck) are the two doubts for this evening's trip to Woking. Gillespie missed the Heybridge match after feeling tightness in his thigh during training, just a couple of days after netting a hat-trick at Tiptree.

Defender Reid only lasted a few minutes at Heybridge.

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