Zoo trip has Mooney buzzing for U’s return
A TRIP to the zoo has left David Mooney fired up for Colchester United’s visit of Oldham Athletic tonight.
The frustrated Irish striker has been powerless to stop the U’s suffering a dramatic slide down the table in recent weeks due to a three-game suspension.
Following his harsh dismissal in the first half of a 2-0 loss to Southampton little over two weeks ago, the 26-year-old was forced to sit out the defeats that followed against Dagenham & Redbridge, MK Dons and Tranmere.
“Last weekend was the first time in a long time that I’ve woken up on a Saturday morning during the football season and thought ‘what am I going to do today?’,” said Mooney, who has been in for extra afternoon training sessions during his suspension.
“In the end I went to Colchester Zoo with my family, but as lovely as that was it just makes you realise how much you miss playing football.
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“It feels like a long time since I last played. The break has given me a real hunger and I can’t wait to get going again. I’m really buzzing about playing.”
Mooney is out-of-contract at parent club Reading this summer and, having been loaned away from the Championship club in each of his three seasons there, will almost certainly be released.
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“I’m definitely leaving Reading, it’s just a case of where I’m going,” said Mooney.
“I haven’t spoken to the manager (John Ward) or anybody about it really, I haven’t even spoken to my agent much to be fair, I’ve just been trying to play well for me this season.
“I’ll be trying to get the best contract for my family, not just in terms of money but also getting a two or three year deal that will enable us to settle somewhere.
“If I was to stay here then I’d be absolutely over the moon. My daughter is nearly two now and she loves being at nursery here, so I’d have no hesitation in buying a house so that I could start to feel really at home in the area.”
Colchester may be going through a sticky period in terms of results, but their drop in form is nothing compared to their visitors tonight.
The Latics were in and around the play-off places for much of the campaign but have now dropped to 15th following a dreadful run.
Paul Dickov’s side are now without a win in 10 matches, have lost their last five and, most shockingly, have failed to score in eight of their last nine.
Striker Chris Taylor is struggling with a mumps virus which has effected numerous members of the squad in recent weeks, while winger Filipe Morais will undergo a late fitness check after suffering a slight hamstring strain in the 1-0 home defeat to Brighton at the weekend.
Colchester will be without new loan defender Tommy Smith tonight. The Ipswich Town player, having made his debut at Tranmere on Saturday, flew out to China with his New Zealand team mates today in preparation for an international friendly on Friday. As a result he will also miss Saturday’s home game against Exeter.
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COLCHESTER: Williams, Cousins; Wilson, Clarke, Heath, Coker, White, Beevers; Henderson, James, Izzet, Perkins, Wordsworth, Bond, Vincent, O’Toole; Mooney, Gillespie and Odejayi.
OLDHAM: Brill, Gerrard; Lee, Mvoto, Hazell, Black, Winchester, Tarkowski, Todd; Jones, Furman, Stephens, White, Morais; Brooke, Reid, Evina and Tounkara.