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Plenty of Familiar Faces as Blues Face U's
Tuesday, 27th Jul 2021 14:49

The Blues will come up against plenty of familiar faces when they take on Colchester United at the JobServe Community Stadium this evening (KO 7.45pm).

As many as eight former Town players could line-up for the League Two U’s with ex-skipper Luke Chambers, Cole Skuse, Freddie Sears and Alan Judge all having joined the North Essex side following their Portman Road release at the end of the season.

Already at Colchester were Tommy Smith, who has been handed the captaincy ahead of the new campaign, Dean Gerken and Tom Eastman, while Frank Nouble rejoined the club from Plymouth this summer.

Off the pitch there are other former Town players and coaches with ex-Blues defender and academy head Tony Humes the director of football.

Former Town midfielder David Gregory is the head of media, while goalkeeper-coach Darren Smith joined the U’s from the Blues where he previously worked with the academy and under Paul Hurst with the first team.

One-time Town youth player and academy coach Richard Hall is Colchester’s U23s coach, while another former Blues academy staff member, Sean Thacker, is the head of coaching.

Following the 1-0 defeat to Crystal Palace on Saturday, coach Ian Craney said it was likely Town would take a similar approach against Colchester with the senior players getting another 60 or 70 minutes before stepping things up when Millwall visit Portman Road on Saturday.

“Probably will be similar to today,” he said. “And then next weekend you’ve got to treat it as if it’s the first game, leading into the first game against Morecambe.”

Town may well start the same as they did against Palace with new keeper Vaclav Hladky in goal and a back four of, from the right, Kane Vincent-Young, Toto Nsiala, Luke Woolfenden and Matt Penney.

The Blues will probably again be without Lee Evans in midfield with the summer signing from Wigan expected to be back from his minor knock in time for Saturday’s friendly with the Lions. Jon Nolan is also likely to be absent with the calf problem he suffered earlier in pre-season.

If manager Paul Cook uses the same system as against Palace, that could again see youngster Cameron Humphreys join Rekeem Harper in the centre with Scott Fraser on the left and Wes Burns on the right with James Norwood and Joe Pigott up front. As against the Eagles, the bench is likely to be a mix of senior players and youngsters.

We understand new addition George Edmundson won’t be involved, and it’s unlikely Conor Chaplin, who is at the club this afternoon as he closes in on his move from Barnsley, will play a part even if his switch is sorted in time.

Town’s allocation of 1,500 seats has sold out, while the U’s are streaming the game for £10 here.

The match is the Blues’ penultimate friendly of pre-season ahead of Millwall's visit to Suffolk on Saturday.

Photo: Action Images

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JewellintheTown added 15:56 - Jul 27
Will be like the class of 2020 reunion, plus special invites for older classes.

istanblue added 16:38 - Jul 27
Evans era failures v Gamechanger achievers

PackwoodBlue added 16:49 - Jul 27
This will be interesting. I think they could be a lot better than we may expect.

Wooly74 added 16:52 - Jul 27
I’m tired of reading the abuse our outgoing players are getting. Please for the love of god get a grip, these are the players that tried under a regime that we now know had no knowledge of football or business in this sport. For the likes of Chambers, Skuse and Sears to play the number of games they did for us, we should applaud them.

I pity those new players we have brought in if they don’t get off to the best start this season with fans like this!!!

DifferentGravy added 16:55 - Jul 27
Team has barely played together and needs time to gel.....but want to see us take the game to Colchester and create chances. The ex players will definitely be up for it and it would nice to show why Town replaced them

BurleysGloryDays added 17:08 - Jul 27
Will be interesting game, ColU will be right up for it and as others say, few out to prove a point to Cook (albeit too little too late to matter).

Hope ColU do well next season with our old boys, good to see them bounce back a bit. Good to have decent relationship with ColU too, including for sharing of talent (thanks for KVY for example). All good for the area.

Much more time for them down the road, than them up the road!

Ryorry added 18:52 - Jul 27
Pretty much our OldBoys team v. our NewBoys team then! Hope they all do well but with us edging it, and no injuries please.

Cookiscooking added 19:53 - Jul 27
cheers then... match is being commentated by an alien, sons crying.

Cookiscooking added 20:08 - Jul 27
yeah we've fully been mugged off here...

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