Gillespie must get hamstring right

COLCHESTER United's record signing Steven Gillespie has admitted he will be making sure his recurring hamstring injury is '100%' right before he attempts a return to first team action.

Stuart Watson

COLCHESTER United's record signing Steven Gillespie has admitted he will be making sure his recurring hamstring injury is '100%' right before he attempts a return to first team action.

The £400,000 summer signing has endured a stop-start U's career - making just eight appearances for his new club due to suspensions and injury.

Having missed the return to his previous club Cheltenham earlier in the month due to a training ground flare-up of an old hamstring injury, Gillespie returned to help his side to their 2-1 win over Stockport just over a week ago.

New manager Paul Lambert has been full of praise for the former Liverpool trainee since his arrival and, after sitting down with the 23-year-old last week, decided to start him against Carlisle on Saturday following just one complete training session.

Gillespie lasted just 16 minutes though, his hamstring injury flaring up once again following a deft back-heeled pass.

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“I'm just so frustrated,” said Gillespie. “I was a bit of a risk for Saturday, but I sat down with the manager and told him I wanted to play.

“It's just one of those things. As a footballer you want to play every game possible and, given the opportunity, I wasn't going to turn down the chance to play.

“I've spoken to the manager quite a lot since he has been here and the signs are that he likes me as a player, but I need to be out there proving that I can be putting the ball in the net rather than living on my past reputation.

“It's been a really frustrating season so far, but there is still a lot of football to play and I am sure I will be fine eventually.

“I think this time I just need to leave it a little bit longer and make sure I come back 100%”

Other than Gillespie, Paul Lambert has virtually a full squad to select from for tonight's game at Northampton Town.

In contrast, the Cobblers are down to the bare bones and, although Stuart Gray's side gained a decent 0-0 draw at Leicester on Saturday, a second game in the space of four days won't do their threadbare squad many favours.

Already without Liam Davis (foot) and Colin Larkin (thigh), Northampton saw Luke Guttridge injure his knee in the warm-up on Saturday, while striker Adebayo Akinfenwa limped off after 68 minutes with a calf problem.

Gray admitted: “At this moment I've only got 15 fit players to choose from but I'm hoping to maybe bring someone in on loan.

“I've put in a few phone calls so hopefully something will happen because we are a bit thin on the ground in terms of numbers at the moment so we just want to boost the squad up a little bit.

“We probably could have done with a few extra days before our next game to try and get one or two players fit.”

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