Yeates' heart-to-heart with gaffer

MARK Yeates, arguably Colchester United's most gifted player, had a heart-to-heart with U's boss Paul Lambert this week, as did the rest of the squad.

Carl Marston

MARK Yeates, arguably Colchester United's most gifted player, had a heart-to-heart with U's boss Paul Lambert this week, as did the rest of the squad.

Yeates still has a year remaining on his contract, and most U's fans will be hoping that the Dubliner will remain at the Community Stadium for next season.

Dangerous front-runner Yeates ended this term as the U's leading marksman with 13 goals, an impressive haul for a player who spent most of the campaign on the wing.

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Lambert was certainly impressed with Yeates' goal ratio, although he has also been quick to criticise the ex-Tottenham man for his lack of consistency, especially on home turf.

The 24-year-old was close to leaving the U's last summer - a potential move to Crystal Palace fell through due to a failed medical - and there might be more interest shown elsewhere during this close-season.

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But for the moment, Yeates is still very much a Colchester player.

“Obviously what's said between the gaffer and the rest of us is private. But he had a little chat with each of us,” explained Yeates.

“He went over the performances during the season, and I think that generally he was pleased with how things went.

“I've still got another year left on my contract, so I'm still a Colchester player.

“We had a poor start to last season, which left us playing catch-up, but we'll be looking to do better next season. It was our home form that let us down.

“I was glad to score 13 goals, though I think that total should have been 14. It doesn't look as though I'm going to be given the second goal at Hereford,” rued Yeates, with reference to the Dean Beckwith own goal in the 2-0 win at Edgar Street. Yeates' goal-bound effort glanced off the head of Beckwith.

Lambert met with each of the U's players individually at the start of this week. He has already revealed his plans to make sweeping changes over the summer, although most of the current squad are under contract, so departures will not happen en masse.

Meanwhile, one of the U's former players, Danny Granville, is getting used to being released, and by one man in particular - Geraint Williams!

Experienced 34-year-old left-back Granville, who enjoyed �1m-plus moves to Leeds and Manchester City during the late 1990s, was released by Williams when the Welshman was the Colchester manager last summer.

Granville moved onto Leyton Orient, where Williams duly arrived as the new manager earlier this year. And yesterday, Williams handed Granville a free transfer for the second consecutive year.

He is one of eight O's players to be released by Williams. All of them were out of contract.

Last week, Williams pledged his own future to the O's by signing a new one-year deal at Brisbane Road, as did his No. 2, Kevin Nugent.

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