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Town Continue Pre-Season at Colchester
Friday, 19th Jul 2019 12:45

Town travel to Colchester United this evening for the first of their three domestic pre-season friendlies (KO 7.30pm).

Having given his players 45 minutes each at Paderborn and at the Interwetten Cup in Meppen last weekend, manager Paul Lambert, a former Colchester boss, is expected to give his starting XI 60 minutes this evening.

It’s likely those involved for the last half hour will start and be given 60 minutes at Notts County on Tuesday before Lambert fields a team which may be close to the one which lines-up at Burton on the opening day of the League One campaign in the final friendly at Cambridge United next Saturday.

New loan signing Luke Garbutt is expected to make his first appearance in a Blues shirt either at left-back or wide in midfield against one of his previous loan sides this evening.

As revealed on Wednesday, former Lincoln City defender James Wilson is on trial with the Blues and Lambert could well run the rule over the 30-year-old at the JobServe Community Stadium with Town short on experienced centre-halves given Nsiala’s injury and with skipper Luke Chambers suspended for the opening day game against the Brewers.

The Blues, who go into the game looking for their first win of pre-season, will be without a number of players against the League Two U’s with Teddy Bishop ruled out for three months with medial ligament damage.

Toto Nsiala is expected to be out for around six weeks after tearing his hamstring last weekend, while Jack Lankester has suffered a recurrence of the back problem which prematurely ended his 2018/19.

Still on the way back from the injuries they picked up at the end of the season are Jon Nolan (calf) and Gwion Edwards (groin), although the latter has stepped up his training and isn’t too far away from a return to action. Freddie Sears (ACL), who was with the U's prior to joining Town, is expected back in November.

Alan Judge has trained but has so far not played in any of the games having suffered a broken wrist on international duty with the Republic of Ireland last month and is again not expected to be involved.

The U's are managed by former Blues defender John McGreal, while keeper Dean Gerken left Portman Road at the end of last season.

Another ex-Town defender, Tom Eastman, is a stalwart of the Colchester backline, while they added one-time Blues academy defender Omar Sowunmi to their squad from Yeovil over the summer. Full-back Kane Vincent-Young spent time on trial at Town last summer but ultimately wasn't offered a contract.

Striker Frank Nouble was with Town between 2013 and 2015, while midfielder Diaz Wright is the son of former Blues midfielder Jermaine.

Colchester's director of football is another ex-Town defender Tony Humes, while Richard Hall - a Town supporter and youth player as a youngster - and Sean Thacker both work in their academy having previously coached at Playford Road.

Former Blues midfielder David Gregory is Colchester's press and communications officer.

Town are taking a following of 2,200 to North Essex with tickets still available. Fans are advised to arrive early to avoid queues.

The teams will meet again at the Jobserve Community Stadium on Tuesday 12th November, in competitive action on that occasion in the EFL Trophy.

Probable squad: Bialkowski, Holy, Donacien, Emmanuel, Kenlock, Garbutt, Clements, Chambers (c), Ndaba, Woolfenden, Wilson, Skuse, Huws, Downes, Dozzell, Nydam, El Mizouni, Dobra, Rowe, Roberts, Norwood, Jackson.

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Dolphinblue added 12:52 - Jul 19
So many injuries 😫 judge, egwards, lankaster, sears, nsiala, nolan...all first teamers

Dolphinblue added 12:53 - Jul 19

Dolphinblue added 12:53 - Jul 19

Colin_Viljoen added 13:00 - Jul 19
2,200 away supports, must be the best they're going to get this season!

GSH71 added 13:05 - Jul 19
Another defeat then 🙄

BlueBlood90 added 13:10 - Jul 19
That squad looks awfully weak to me. Far too much expectation put on the young boys to turn good IMO.

jas0999 added 13:14 - Jul 19
... now is the time to start winning matches as we haven’t won too many in the last eighteen months.

blues1 added 13:23 - Jul 19
Blueblood90. Have to question your view that the squad looks "awfully" weak? While I do think we could do with a couple more players, this squad has been made 2nd favourites to win the league by the bookies? And they would have done so on the basis of our squad. They are rarely that far out with their odds.

JaySwitch added 13:35 - Jul 19
2,200.. Can see us outnumbering them! Blue army!! 🚜💙

ITFCsince73 added 13:42 - Jul 19
Blues1 watch the odds get larger by the week.
Current odds reflect size of the club, played championship football last season. Transfer window still open, to improve squad, Injuries to key players. Pre season form. All the above and more will change our current odds upto V Burton.

ArnieM added 13:56 - Jul 19
If we take the view the squad is weak, then this is d massive opportunity for our young players to grab their chance isn’t it. We’ve moan Year in year out that our youngsters don’t seem to get their chance - well here it is. Lambert has said as much to the kids st the start of ore season. It’s up to them now. They either sink or swim.

Dissboyitfc added 14:02 - Jul 19
Whilst I do agree some wins would be nice before the start of the season! But the results mean nothing now and friendly results will mean nothing next may. I can remember previous years when we were hammering poor foreign sides in preseason only for the season proper to start and losing our opening games..

I am of course like most disappointed we haven’t signed more and our injury situation gets worse by the day. But I will nit get too carried away either way, win lose or draw results don’t mean a thing, not even sure it matters for confidence.

Half a dozen games into the season is going to be far more telling of where we are and needing to get!

shouldistayorcounago added 14:05 - Jul 19
Anyone know if there is a stream for this? Originally intended on heading across the Dartford Crossing for this but unforrunately won't be able to make the journey tonight.

ITFCsince73 added 14:18 - Jul 19
Dissboy. Some wins before the start of the season is vital. IMO. As in general pre season games mean nothing, result means nothing.
We are not in general. Far from it.
We have to start winning games ASAP.
No ifs, no buts.....
Our current squad has zero experience, of any kind, of a winning run.
This needs to change pronto.

ITFCsince73 added 14:31 - Jul 19
Over 50 games we have the lowest win % of any team starting L1 season.
Anyone who thinks our pre season games are meaningless freindlies, must question their sanity....

robmonkey007 added 14:37 - Jul 19
I'm fairly sure PL knows where he needs to strengthen and these things take time. I bet money we'll sign someone or maybe two before the season starts. That'll be the only money that changes hands though!!!
PS ....hopefully this Lincoln player wont be one of them.

OwainG1992 added 14:56 - Jul 19
Nice to see so many ex Ipswich involved for the U's.
I'll always have a soft spot for them.

midastouch added 15:40 - Jul 19
Colchester Utd, a nice little retirement destination for many ex-Town players down the years. And so it continues to be so right up till today (Gerken, McGreal, Humes and Gregory). Relations seem much improved in this day and age compared to back in 1994 when we poached Burley (their then manager) from them. Even though we are much closer to Colchester Utd in terms of distance (and now sadly in terms of places apart in the league - compared to Norwich) there will never be anything like the animosity for the U's as there is for Naaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaridge.

chepstowblue added 15:46 - Jul 19
Im with 'blueblood'. The majority of us on here know more abt ITFC than the bookies do. These are the same people who had Huddersfield to go down a few seasons ago and they went up.and had Leicester at god knows how many thousand-1 when they won the prem. We are fancied purely because of our name and that we are recently relegated. We have no aura and there will be no fear factor attached to us. With the recent injuries I expect nothing from the first 3 games this season and a total change in the general upbeat mood. Id be more surprised if we're in the top 6 as opposed to the bottom 6. Somewhere slap bang in the middle seems more likely. I wish we had a half fit James Collins in the ranks.

midastouch added 16:04 - Jul 19
I think we might do ok this season but we will need more luck on the injury front than we've had in a long time. Early indications however suggest that our luck is anything but changing on that front. If the likes of Judge and Norwood have long spells out then I fear about our strength in depth to be able to keep the ship afloat and maintain any sort of promotion push. Even with the injuries to Bishop (and others) I'm actually a lot more optimistic this season than I was last season, as I wasn't bowled over by Paul Hurst's appointment at all. I was much more keen for the return of Burley or my dark horse pick would of been Gary White would certainly talked a good game in the EADT. I wasn't particularly keen initially on Lambert's appointment. He says all the right things (he won me over there) but we've yet to see that translate on to the pitch. But let's keep an open mind and see what happens. Surely it can't be as miserable as last season, if it is then we're really done for! I do fear for Paul though if we get off to a bad start and we're not sitting very pretty by Xmas. Hopefully we hit the ground running (although the early fixtures look relatively tough and potential banana skins) and the early season jitters being voiced by a lot of people on here will evaporate but I'm under no illusions that this league is unlikely to be a procession. Just because we've got more historical status than nearly all of our rivals at this level counts for very little, in fact that might well work against us.
Anyway, I'm not going to condemn the team before a ball has been kicked in anger in an actual League fixture. I'm quietly optimistic we'll be able to compete well at this level but admittedly I'm certainly not going to be running down to the bookmakers backing us for automatic promotion! Let's just see what happens. I'm keeping an open mind at this tentative stage of the season. COYB!!!

BlueandTruesince82 added 18:20 - Jul 19
I dont think we're too short.

Norwood unknown quantity but if he gets goals then he and fit Sears and Lankaster looks decent at this level....

Midfield we are stacked with options and even with Teddy out again I'm comfortable unless we lose Judge

Wingers.... Garbutt maybe and Edwards in L1 fine

Rowe TBC

Defence. Well Barts good.

Everyone else unproven.

So we need a striker as Freddie and Jack wont be at full whack until at least Dec.

We need 1 winger maybe 2.

We need 3 defenders. Kenlock and Emanuelle have shown on loan they can handle it at this level and I have big hopes foe Woolfie but all thrown in together thats a worry. Chambo should cut it but we all know the fear though and with Toto injured we look v exposed and inexperienced.....

Think a little experience at the back is vitally needed

Cheshire_Blue added 19:05 - Jul 19
'the majority of us on here know more about ITFC than the bookies' Really ? You could have fooled me.

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