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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