Duguid set for U's return

COLCHESTER United skipper Karl Duguid was a helpless spectator during Tuesday night's agonising East Anglian derby at Portman Road.Duguid was forced to miss his second game of the season, due to an ankle injury incurred during the previous away match at Stoke City.

By Carl Marston

COLCHESTER United skipper Karl Duguid was a helpless spectator during Tuesday night's agonising East Anglian derby at Portman Road.

Duguid was forced to miss his second game of the season, due to an ankle injury incurred during the previous away match at Stoke City. It was a big blow for the 29-year-old, who had scored against Ipswich both home and away last season.

The good news for U's fans, and more specifically manager Geraint Williams, is that Duguid is fit to play a part in today's game at Coventry City, whether from the start or from the bench.


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Bela Balogh deputised at right-back in the 3-2 home win over West Brom, and the 3-1 defeat at Ipswich, but he broke his nose for a second time this season at Portman Road. The Hungarian travelled with the rest of the squad yesterday, and is available, though Duguid is raring to go again.

“I'm fit again. I've had a good week's training, and I'm ready to be involved,” insisted Duguid on his way up to Coventry yesterday.

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“I don't like watching games, but I enjoyed it for 70 minutes at Ipswich. I could only see one winner at the time, and obviously the missed penalty (by Mark Yeates) changed everything.

“Ipswich didn't look like scoring, and afterwards the lads were all gutted. They couldn't work out how they'd just lost the game 3-1.

“However, we will be taking the positives out of the game. We were excellent for 70 minutes, and we will be looking for a repeat performance, but a different result, at Coventry,” added Duguid.

Hosts Coventry City are a club in a mini crisis, due to financial problems (£28m in debt) and a loss of form (three defeats on the bounce).

However, U's stalwart Duguid has been in the game long enough to realise that Coventry's difficulties will count for little in the heat of battle this afternoon.

“Coventry have a few problems, but you can't take that into consideration,” continued Duguid, who celebrated his 400th senior appearance for the club on the opening day of the season at Sheffield United.

“They are all professional players, who will be doing their best for the club. We must just concentrate on our game, and make sure that we deliver the same performance that we did for 70 minutes against Ipswich.

“We didn't do ourselves justice at Coventry in front of the Sky TV cameras last season (2-1 defeat). But we have a different team now,” concluded Duguid.

Manager Williams has a strong squad at his disposal. Duguid's return, and Balogh's availability despite a broken nose, leaves just striker Jamie Guy on the treatment table with a hamstring injury.

The experienced trio of Teddy Sheringham, Kevin McLeod and Kevin Watson were all on the substitutes' bench at Ipswich, such a contrast to the start of the season when youngsters like Anthony Wordsworth and Tom Webb were used in a 16-man squad.

Sheringham has confirmed his recovery from a tweaked hamstring by appearing as a substitute against both West Brom and Ipswich, while left-winger McLeod also returned to the squad as a late substitute for Danny Granville against Town.

Midfielder Watson, meanwhile, is waiting patiently to make his first appearance of the campaign following a sore Achilles tendon and a subsequent calf injury. He was an unused substitute on Tuesday night.

Sheringham will surely be back in the starting line-up soon, though it would be harsh to drop Clive Platt after the ex-MK Dons target man scored such a terrific goal against Ipswich.

Squads

COVENTRY CITY: Marshall, Osbourne, Ward, Turner, De Zeeuw, McNamee, Doyle, Simpson, Gray, Kyle, Mifsud, Best, Adebola, Tabb, S Hughes, Konstantopoulos.

COLCHESTER UNITED: Davison, Duguid, Baldwin, Connolly, Elokobi, Yeates, Izzet, Jackson, Granville, Platt, Lisbie, Sheringham, Balogh, Watson, Virgo, McLeod, Guttridge, White, Gerken.

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