Don't panic - Boothroyd

A NEW manager means a fresh start, and that applies to everyone at Colchester United.There will be no knee-jerk recruiting or axing of players by new U's boss Aidy Boothroyd, who officially took charge on Wednesday morning.

Carl Marston

A NEW manager means a fresh start, and that applies to everyone at Colchester United.

There will be no knee-jerk recruiting or axing of players by new U's boss Aidy Boothroyd, who officially took charge on Wednesday morning.

And that's good news for several of the players who were frozen out of the first-team scene during Paul Lambert's tenure - the likes of John White and Matt Heath, who were both shipped out on loan to Southend for a month, plus Matt Lockwood and even unsettled midfielder David Perkins.

Want-a-way midfielder Perkins, who requested a transfer on the eve of the U's 2-1 defeat at MK Dons last Saturday week, is still at the Essex club. The ex-Morecambe and Rochdale 27-year-old has expressed a wish to return to his native north.

Boothroyd confirmed: “I'm quite an addictive person. If anyone is going to leave this club, it's because I want them to go.

Most Read

“I will be having a chat with David Perkins to find a way forward, but I don't know him yet.

“Every player will be given a squad number, and everyone will start with a clean-sheet.

“I'm not going to denigrate any other manager, but the guys who have been out in the cold will come back in. It's a long season and I certainly won't settle for players feeling sorry for themselves. I've got no time for that.

“I think there are goals in this team, and there are some good defensive things as well, so I won't be making changes quickly.

“Sometimes, you can be too quick to go into the transfer market, and get too carried away by all the media (hype). I have learnt from my signing mistakes, and I've benefited from taking a step back,” added Boothroyd.

The ex-Watford boss did make one swift signing this week, ensuring that midfielder John-Joe O'Toole was signed on loan from his old club before Tuesday's transfer deadline.

But there will be no panic signings when the loan window reopens next week, or quickfire exits.

Meanwhile, Boothroyd believes that Tuesday night's premature exit from the Johnstone's Paint Trophy might end up being a blessing in disguise.

Boothroyd was in the directors' box at Priestfield to witness the U's defeat at the hands of Gillingham, in a penalty shoot-out on Tuesday night. It was caretaker manager Joe Dunne's final match at the helm.

The U's progressed through three rounds of the Trophy competition last season, claiming 1-0 wins at Millwall, Gillingham and Bournemouth, before crashing out at the southern section semi-final stage at Luton.

This time, though, there will be no such distractions as Boothroyd bids to maintain United's good start to their League One campaign. They are currently in fifth spot.

“It would have been nice to get to Wembley and win the (Johnstone's Paint) Trophy,” admitted Boothroyd.

“But going out on Tuesday night at least means there will be more opportunities to get out on the training ground. That's where I'm happiest.

“So I suppose it might prove better in the long run that we are out of that competition.”

Boothroyd's first match in charge is a tricky one, away at Southampton tomorrow. The Saints started the season on minus 10 points, due to their parent club going into administration, and have so far drawn three and lost two of their first five league games.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter